By Neil Champney

24th May, 2020 | 7:00pm

MOT View: Impressive strike shows reported Leeds target has quality needed to be a real handful

The season hasn’t even finished yet and we’re already seeing Leeds United linked to a number of potential striking targets who could bolster their ranks next term.

Amongst those who are reportedly in the frame are Galatasaray striker Mbaye Diagne and FC Metz hitman Habib Diallo, who is understood to available for around £13.1 million this summer.

But would the 24-year-old be a good signing for the Whites, especially if they realise their long-term ambition of returning to the Premier League in the coming months?

On the face of it, he certainly looks as if he could offer just as much, if not more, than Patrick Bamford does currently.

As per Wyscout, Diallo’s shot accuracy rate is 13.3% higher than Bamford’s, with the Senegal international getting over half of his efforts on target.

Similarly, he has registered 0.43 goals per game this term, despite having an xG of just 0.34 – essentially meaning that he is operating on a surplus of 0.09 goals per game.

By comparison, Bamford has an xG of 0.65, but a goals per game 0.35, meaning he is operating at a deficit of 0.3 goals per game.

In short, Diallo is a much more effective, efficient finisher than the Leeds man.

But how does that translate into a game situation?

MOT Leeds News have taken a look at one of his most recent strikes to find out.


The goal, an impressive effort in a 3-1 win against St. Etienne back in February, exhibits some of Diallo’s best qualities perfectly.

Firstly, the striker takes up a brilliant position in the penalty area to make himself available for the second ball after a very deep cross from the left flank, as pictured above.

His awareness of space in the box affords him the opportunity to receive possession in a dangerous area, and hints at an intelligent, cunning forward.

When the ball is then played into Diallo, he is able to use his physical prowess to shrug off his marker with ease.

This is a player who has averaged 10.31 aerial duels per game this term, compared to Bamford’s 3.47, and his willingness to face up to a physical confrontation on the pitch is illustrated perfectly by the ease with which he nudges his defender out of this 50/50.

The next thing to notice is just how early he takes his shot.

Diallo shrugs his defender off and hits his effort first time, meaning that the goalkeeper has no time to properly set himself.

The stopper is caught on his heels as the shot comes in, and is unable to properly react to the danger.

The ball actually strikes the goalkeeper on its way into the back of the net, and you could probably argue that he would be disappointed not to have done more to stop it beating him.

But the fact is that it’s Diallo’s insistence on hitting the shot when his opponent is still setting himself against the threat that makes all the difference here.

In short, the Metz man looks like a really lively handful of player, and if Leeds are looking for an instinctive goalscorer with a decent physical presence, they could probably do a lot worse than the 24-year-old this summer.

In other Leeds United news, MOT View: Update from PL chief could be worry for Leeds United promotion bid.