By Saikat Mandal

5th Aug, 2022 | 12:40pm

Andrea Radrizzani makes Leeds United striker hunt admission

Andrea Radrizzani has suggested that Leeds United are looking to sign a striker, but they don’t want to jeopardise the growth of Joe Gelhardt.

The Leeds majority shareholder also admitted that the club had a deal agreed for Charles De Ketelaere, and at one point there was a 50-50 chance for them to sign the young Belgian attacker.

Radrizzani says that the club are actively in the hunt for an alternative to De Ketelaere, but at the same time, they will not sign anyone unless they’re not 100 per cent convinced.

“I have a lot of confidence in ‘Joffy’ Gelhardt and Patrick Bamford coming back this season but we’re actively monitoring and discussing with Jesse and Victor,” said Radrizzani to The Atheltic.

“We don’t have to do a deal at any cost. Charles De Ketelaere was a special player. We were all in agreement to make a big effort. With other players, unless we are convinced 100 per cent that we improve, we don’t move.”

“But wasn’t that part of the issue last season? That Leeds were short of resources in certain positions and suffered because of it?

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“Yes, true, but we are discussing a lot about a striker,” he says. “If we bring (in) a young one, we tend to kill a space for Gelhardt, who I believe is one of the most talented strikers in the country for his age. His numbers talk. Every time he plays he has an impact. It’s not an easy decision. But if we find the right player and we’re convinced, we’ll bring him in.”

Tough call

This has been an excellent transfer window for Leeds, but they probably need to add another striker and a left-back.

Regarding signing a striker, there is a dilemma. Bamford missed almost the whole part of last season, and the club lacked a proper number nine in his absence.

Gelhardt is a promising young lad but he needs to be developed gradually. It’s a big ask for the youngster to deliver straightaway.

The likes of Dan James and Rodrigo have been used upfront, but not with the desired result.

Gelhardt is expected to feature prominently this season, and probably that’s why the club do not want to hamper his growth.

In such a scenario, Leeds must look to sign an attacking midfielder who is also capable of playing as a striker if needed.

Southampton striker Che Adams has been linked with a move to Elland Road, and Radrizzani has now made it clear that the club are indeed looking at bringing the right quality of player.

In other Leeds United news, this Leeds star has taken Marsch’s decision personally as he looks to quit Elland Road this summer.