Leeds United are in the hunt for Seria A scoring sensation M’bala Nzola, according to Italian newspaper Tuttosport.
Nzola has burst onto the scene with nine goals in just 13 Serie A appearances since joining new boys Spezia on a permanent deal from Trapani.
After signing on loan, Nzola helped to guide Spezia to promotion from Serie B with seven goals in 21 games but it is this season that he has really come to the fore and caused a number of European clubs to sit up and take notice.
As reported by Tuttosport Leeds are one of the clubs who are said to be ‘monitoring’ the French striker ahead of a possible transfer, though there is no talk that a bid is imminent from the Whites or any other side.
But what would the Whites be getting if they made a move for the striker?
Nzola is 24-years-old and looks like he is starting to ignite his fledgling career on the big stage. He is in red-hot form, sitting just behind the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (15), Romelu Lukaku (12), Ciro Immobile (11) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (10) in the top goalscorer charts.
That he is on the coattails of these elite superstar strikers is testament to his clinical finishing that is helping to keep unfancied Spezia out of the relegation zone at the moment.
The statistics behind this stunning start to the season are all the more impressive.
Per Wyscout, his expected goals total is just 6.76 with his actual total of nine exceeding this and showing the terrific finishing he has produced this season.
Spezia are actually one of the more dominant teams on the ball in Serie A this season with their ball possession of 52.7% ranking them sixth, and this looks to have had a great effect on Nzola with 51 touches of his own in the penalty area (18th in Serie A).
He also ranks in the top 30 for shot accuracy (39.29%).
Nzola has also proved himself to be a physical threat in the air with 5.1 aerial duels per 90 (24th in league) showing he is not afraid to put himself about, also evidenced in his 2.43 fouls per 90 (seventh in Serie A).
Below we can see a comparison of Nzola to Whites striker Patrick Bamford who has enjoyed a great start to the Premier League season for the Championship winners with 10 goals in his first 17 games.
As you can see, these are just a handful of selected stats but they do give a good indicator of what strengths Nzola could offer Leeds that Bamford currently does not.
The most noticeable difference is in dribbles and aerial duels showing evidencing the all-action nature of Nzola, something which could be particularly useful in the Premier League as a lone striker.
Bamford does burst ahead of him on shots on target per 90, however, probably a reflection of the volume of chances Leeds create compared to Spezia.
They do show similarities in the number of recoveries in the opposing half which shows Nzola may be able to fit into the pressing demands Bielsa demands from his forwards.
With reports that Leeds are just monitoring Nzola and have not submitted a bid yet this is only a mere perusal of the stats that jump out from the Spezia striker and a brief look at whether he could fit into Bielsa’s style.
But it does appear as if Nzola has the physical capabilities at least to be able to test himself in the Premier League, as well as an impressive goalscoring record.
Expect more analysis here at MOT Leeds News if there are any developments on this story.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay reveals contract wrangle over the transfer of Robin Koch.