COMMENT By Editor Wayne Veysey
With a few choice words, a Grimsby director has made it clear Leeds were not willing to push the boat out on deadline day to sign a striker in the form of his life.
That Leeds could have won the race for lower league goal machine Omar bogle is beyond doubt, if we are to take today’s words of John Fenty at face value.
The high-ranking official explained how Bogle ended up joining Championship strugglers Wigan in the final minutes of the January window rather than a more illustrious club.
“There was another club, which I now don’t mind revealing as Leeds United, who were tracking the interest in Omar and they had an opportunity, at the last minute on deadline day, to come in and pip what was being offered by Wigan,” said Fenty to the Grimsby Telegraph.
“They weren’t prepared to do that and so that gives me the feeling that the deal we settled on with Wigan was of a good – and fair – value for a player of Omar’s calibre and future potential.”
Fenty’s timing could not have been more exquisite.
On Tuesday night, the man who scored 19 goals in 27 league matches for Grimsby in the opening half of the League Two campaign marked his Wigan debut with two goals in their 2-2 draw against promotion hopefuls Norwich.
Bogle is undoubtedly raw – he was playing in the non league for Solihull only 18 months ago – but he has pace, power and knows where the goal is.
In other words, attributes Leeds could dearly do with more of if their promotion-chasing campaign is not to end in disappointment.
Garry Monk can call upon the in-form striker in the Championship in Chris Wood, who scored his 21st of the season – and 18th in the league – in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield.
But the Leeds manager has been around long enough to know strikers on hot runs don’t fire forever and, when the goals dry up, they need to come from alternative sources.
Garry Monk will not need telling that the next leading scorers after Wood are Souleymane Doukara, who has netted five times, and centre-back Kyle Bartley, who has weighed in with four. These are measly numbers.
The manager made it crystal clear in January he wanted the board to buy him a new striker, either permanently or on loan.
That he didn’t get one – and was instead handed two orthodox wingers on loan – speaks volumes about the lack of resources and ambition of the new-look board.
Monk’s eight-month reign as manager has been marked by some superb recruitment. There have been some outstanding deals – Pontus Jansson, Kyle Bartley, Luke Ayling and Liam Bridcutt stand out – and some very canny ones, most notably Pablo Hernandez, Eunan O’Kane, Hadi Sacko and Kemar Roofe.
But the failure to sign Bogle when he was there on a plate could come back to haunt Leeds.
Certainly, it is the worst transfer decision yet of the Monk era.
In other Leeds transfer news, there has been a finale in a major deal after a £7million Leeds bid was tabled.