Leeds United and their effort to sign Southampton striker Che Adams was one of the biggest transfer sagas of January.
According to BBC Sport, Leeds saw three bids rejected by the Saints in January as they aimed to land the 23-year-old, with their final approach being a loan-to-buy one with the option to sign the ex-Birmingham player for £20million in the summer if they’re promoted.
Of course, Leeds failed to sign Adams in the end with Marcelo Bielsa eventually bringing in Jean-Kevin Augustin on a loan-to-buy basis from RB Leipzig to fill the void left by Eddie Nketiah’s return to Arsenal.
Before Leeds pursued Adams, he had not done much for Southampton.
The south coast club paid £15million to land the forward from Birmingham after scoring 22 goals in the 2018/19 campaign.
It was proven that he was able to score goals upon goals in the Championship but before January, he had failed to find the net in 15 Premier League appearances.
One of the reasons why Southampton were so unwilling to let Adams leave was Ralph Hasenhuttl’s insistence upon needing the forward for the second half of the season.
But was that really the case?
Since the close of the January transfer window, Adams has played just four times in the Premier League with all four of those appearances coming off the bench.
In total, he’s amassed just 54 minutes of game-time in the league and, unsurprisingly, he still hasn’t scored a goal for the Saints.
Adams’ form should be worrying for Southampton, especially as their form took a sharp decline before the coronavirus-enforced suspension of football in England.
Even with the goals drying up for Danny Ings, Leeds’ January target still failed to get into Hasenhuttl’s starting line-up.
Did Leeds dodge a bullet by not signing Adams?
Based on the fact he has only started eight times in the league this season for Southampton, there’s a good chance that he is not up to the standard of fitness that Marcelo Bielsa would have wanted in a forward.
Augustin is yet to earn a start for the Whites after having a similarly poor first half of the season at Monaco.
Adams would have likely struggled to get into Leeds’ side too and on the balance on everything, it was perhaps a good job the Whites didn’t push the boat out even more to sign him.
In other Leeds United news, Andrea Radrizzani has responded to a concerned supporter on Twitter.