COMMENT By Will Butcher

Leeds would take a big leap towards Premier League promotion if they signed Stoke City’s veteran forward Peter Crouch in January.

The Stoke Sentinel claim Sunderland are interested in signing the 35-year-old, but Leeds should join the race for the ex-England international’s signature, who is out out of contract next summer, down the Stoke pecking order and could be available in January.

A move for the former Liverpool and Tottenham forward could see the Yorkshire giants close the gap on second placed Brighton in the automatic promotion places, and here are three reasons why:

Problem area

Without Chris Wood, Leeds struggle to find the back of the net.

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The 25-year-old is currently sidelined with a short-term hamstring problem, and watched on as Garry Monk’s side failed to break down Brentford at Elland Road until the 89th minute to earn a 1-0 win.

Summer signing Marcus Antonsson has failed to prove his £2million price tag, while Souleymane Doukara is better deployed on the win.

Top-flight experience

Former Swansea boss Monk should look to start bringing in players that have experience in the Premier League, with only a handful of players able to say they have been a top-flight regular in their time.

Crouch, currently way down the pecking order behind Wilfried Bony and Mame Biram Diouf at the Britannia, has made 412 appearance in the Premier League for six different clubs.

Using his silky touch and considerable aerial ability, Crouch has found the net 94 times and provided 52 assists in the top division, and would add real quality to Leeds’ side.

Available in the new year

With Monk unlikely to be given a great deal of cash in January, Crouch would prove a bargain deal.

His current Stoke City deal expires in June and as his career enters the final stages, the 42-time international could be allowed to leave for as little as nothing in less than a month.

Monk’s side use pace on both flanks that allow the likes of Souleymane Doukara and Hadi Sacko to reach the byline and supply a cross. Crouch would be prolific in Yorkshire.

In other Leeds transfer news, this German side are reportedly interested in Ronaldo Vieira.