By Sam Stone

7th Jan, 2023 | 2:10pm

Phil Hay details 'open-minded' Leeds United search for 'versatile' attacker

The Athletic’s Phil Hay has claimed Leeds United are “open-minded” when it comes to the type of striker they’re trying to sign in the January window.

Leeds completed their first January signing as RB Salzburg captain Max Wober put pen to paper on a four-and-a-half-year contract at Elland Road.

A striker is also a priority in the winter window and Hay has suggested Leeds are looking for a “versatile” option in the striking department.

“They always seem to be open-minded about that [which type of forward], Charles De Ketelaere and Cody Gakpo are players who are versatile. Gakpo with Holland played out wide, deep, withdrawn and in a front two,” said The Athletic journalist (Phil Hay Show, 51m 59s, 5 January).

“They do like versatile options who can play wherever. Personally, I would be going for a number nine which they don’t really have, but I think a forward of merit and a forward of quality would be a good addition either way.”

Ball in the net

Someone who can consistently put the ball in the back of the net and bring others into play should be what Marsch is looking for. Patrick Bamford’s injury record and poor form mean he is no longer a viable option for the Whites to rely upon in front of goal.

Rodrigo has been in fine form in the 2022/23 season but it’s a big ask for the Spaniard to fire Leeds towards Premier League survival all on his own. The West Yorkshire side came so close to landing Gakpo in the summer, and it appears a forward of the same ilk is what the board are looking for.

As Hay previously alluded to, Gakpo can drift across the front line and into midfield whilst still maintaining a goal threat. It’s good to see Leeds target players such as the Dutchman but ultimately they’re hard to come by, and when they’re available, the top clubs in Europe are usually circling.

Finding a versatile attacker could be a hard move for Leeds to pull off in January, but it’s something the board simply have to do if they really want to give Marsch the best chance of securing another year of Premier League football.

In other Leeds United newsPaul Robinson believes one Leeds player should have been sent off in the draw against West Ham.