Date: 15th June 2022 at 2:08pm
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Leeds are sniffing around Schalke forward Rabbi Matondo as they look to bolster their striking options.

What’s the word?

That’s according to German newspaper BILD, who claim that the forward has rejected a permanent move to Cercle Brugge.

The club are refraining from exercising the £3m buy option in his loan contract, and so Leeds’ interest has been piqued.

However, Premier League rivals Brentford and Nottingham Forest, as well as Lens, Brest and Troyes are also said to be keen on the attacker.

Could stunt Gelhardt’s growth

Whilst striker is certainly a position that Leeds are in desperate need of added depth, the signing of Rabbi Matondo could add another blockade to the development of highly-rated youngster Joe Gelhardt, who impressed this season.

Matondo spent the majority of last season on loan in Belgium and registered a decent return of 11 goal contributions in 26 league appearances for Cercle Brugge.

The former Manchester City man predominantly operated as a left winger, which makes his goal haul even more impressive, but at striker is where the 21-year-old aims to play.

However, his average SofaScore rating of 6.84 only slightly betters that of Gelhardt’s 6.75, despite most of the latter’s appearances being from the bench.

The Whites frontman has also earned huge praise this season, and signing another forward could see his playtime even further reduced if Patrick Bamford can recover from his string of injuries.

Former Premier League defender Alan Hutton described the forward as “unreal”, “outstanding” and “tremendous” following his assist for Leeds’ late equaliser at Brighton.

Matondo on the other hand has also drawn praise from his former manager Pep Guardiola, who branded him a “young talent” who is “incredibly fast”.

However, with one youth prospect already garnering affection from pundits alike, it seems strange for Jesse Marsch to be pushing for another obstacle for Gelhardt to have to mount.

Perhaps the man signed from Wigan in 2020 should be given one more season to truly stake his claim before further reinforcements are brought in, that may steal his shot at stardom at Elland Road.

In other news, Marsch may already have Leeds’ perfect Bamford replacement in “astonishing” 20 y/o gem.


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