By Editor Wayne Veysey
Garry Monk insisted in the wake of Leeds’ 2-0 win over Reading on Tuesday night that he would “definitely” be in the market to sign a new striker during the January window.
The Yorkshire giants face an anxious wait to discover the severity of the hamstring injury sustained by leading scorer Chris Wood in the triumph at Elland Road.
Here, Football Insider selects three available strikers that Monk and the Leeds recruitment staff can buy on loan in January to keep the club’s play-off hopes alive:
Peter Crouch (Stoke)
The former England man’s days as a Premier League starter are over. Now aged 35, he is in the twilight of his career and Leeds could take advantage of his senior citizen status to strike a loan deal before he turns 36 on 30 January. The target-man striker has pedigree, immense nuisance value and an eye for goal honed at seven top flight clubs. Crouch scored a hat-trick in the League Cup earlier this season but is a bench warmer for the main matches and he has played a mere 196 minutes of Premier League football this season. He might be holding out to join the 100-goal Premier League club (his tally currently stands at 94), but if Leeds can agreed a wages split with Stoke, a stunning deal could be possible.
David Nugent (Middlesbrough)
The 31-year-old is a goal poacher supreme. Good enough to once play, and score, for England, he is now making up the numbers at Middlesbrough and might jump at the chance to spearhead a play-off bid for one of the country’s great clubs. Nugent has seen just 159 minutes of first-team action this season and his only start has come in the League Cup. It is clear that he is a fringe man at Boro, even though he was on the bench at the weekend. But his record in the Championship speaks for itself. 306 appearances in the competition have yielded 103 goals and 48 assists.
Jordan Rhodes (Middlesbrough)
A move for the 26-year-old goal machine would send out a huge message about Leeds’ ambitions. Monk’s side could not afford a permanent transfer given the £10million fee being quoted to suitors, but a five-month loan deal could be just the ticket. Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has hinted that Rhodes could be available for transfer in January, although the striker did play the full 90 minutes of the 1-0 weekend defeat to Southampton. Rhodes has a formidable scoring record in the Championship and in League One with former clubs Blackburn and Huddersfield. He struck 84 times in 169 appearances for Blackburn and was even more prolific at Huddersfield, where his 86 goals came in just 147 matches. At Boro, the Scotland international has mainly been on the fringes of the team since his January move, but has still netted six times in 23 matches.