By George Overhill

13th Jan, 2023 | 6:30pm

Georginio Rutter tipped for perfect Patrick Bamford link as Leeds United announcement nears

Georginio Rutter is not the goalscorer that Leeds United are looking for yet but a partnership with Patrick Bamford “would suit him perfectly”, says Jasmine Baba.

The Hoffenheim youngster is on the brink of becoming the club’s record signing with a £35million package agreed for the 20-year-old who is now in England to complete the move [Fabrizio Romano, 13 January].

But German football consultant Baba believes the French under-21 international is not yet ready to be the answer in place of the injury-prone English forward, being more suited as a second striker.

She told ITV’s Chris Dawkes: “Leeds are getting a technically gifted, very dynamic, deep-running striker… he’s very good at dribbling, one of the best ones in the Bundesliga.

“He has this very raw talent about him, he’s only 20. He hasn’t really progressed as much as some other younger players in the Bundesliga so he’s not probably the goalscorer Leeds are looking for just yet.

“He works more as a second striker, especially if he had someone like Patrick Bamford to link up with. I think that would suit him perfectly.

“But as a lone striker I don’t see how he would be one of those players who scores a lot of goals because he’s not really clinical just yet.

“He offers a lot that suits Jesse Marsch’s tactics, especially high-intensity out of possession, very high work-rate and decent enough pressing… so he should fit into the team straight away.

“He’s a very fast player for the Premier League and I think some defences might get thrown off about how fast he really is.

“A really nice talent to have. I don’t think he’s going to solve many of Leeds’ problems straight away but he’s a nice addition to the front three or four.”

Same problems?

Well, good news and bad news then. Leeds United have had to take a gamble on a potential star of the future because if he already was a star then he wouldn’t be attainable.

But the wisdom of spending so much money on a player that isn’t quite the out-and-out forward that looks to be needed, when Rodrigo has been filling exactly that role already, can be questioned.

And it is all very well landing a player who can thrive alongside Bamford when a large part of why a forward was needed at all is because Bamford never plays.

Rutter can surely have an impact this year, and as he develops then he should become more of a goalscorer over the next few seasons, but it sounds like the club are at risk of adding more of what they’ve already got.

In Rodrigo, Willy Gnonto, and Joe Gelhardt the Whites already have a very solid group of attackers who all prefer playing off the mythical central striker who is so rarely available.

So while Rutter is sure to benefit Jesse Marsch’s side, and a player as talented as him arriving in January can still prove crucial, it will still keep the perennial Bamford questions rumbling on for at least another six months.

But perhaps it is no surprise when Charles De Ketelaere and Cody Gakpo weren’t number nines either, as the club appear to be intent on building a team around the space left for Bamford if and when he ever fills it regularly again.

Is Rutter better than nobody in this window? Absolutely, and if he develops as hoped in the next couple of years it will look like a no-brainer. But would the money have had more immediate impact with an out-and-out goalscorer? It certainly sounds like it.

In other Leeds United news, a key member of Marsch’s leadership council posted his three-word reaction as a first-team player completes a permanent exit.