With Billy Paynter missing the friendly games against Bury and Hartlepool, there had been reports that our new summer signing was set to be out for a lengthy spell, leading to further concerns about the strength of our striking options.

Despite the reports however, Simon Grayson insists Billy Paynter’s absence was nothing more than a precaution after picking a knock up in Slovakia.

The Leeds United boss goes on to insist that he’s still looking to strengthen the squad in several positions, but with only a couple of weeks remaining, concerns are growing about the strength of the Leeds United team.

“I said many times that our business wasn’t finished. I want to bring more signings in and we’re still talking to clubs about players in most positions.

“Time will tell when and if we get them but it’s something we’re well on with.”

Concerns about the strength of our squad grew after an embarrassing 4-0 friendly defeat to Bury, but Leeds bounced back with a 5-0 demolition job over Hartlepool. Whilst the result at Hartlepool was certainly an improvement, it’s hard to determine where a team are at from friendlies and my gut instinct is that we still need a few more players.

Top of that list is still the long-awaited Jermaine Beckford replacement. Another summer of speculation linking Gary Hooper with Leeds United now seems to be over as Celtic finalise a deal to take him up north. With Hooper’s name now out of running, it’s hard to see who Leeds United can call upon to replace Jermaine’s invaluable goals?

46 Responses

  1. Mike

    It depresses me when we have posts like this :( please Larry sign someone i want something to feel happy about again!

  2. Matt BB

    it’ll be in bates favour that we scored five on saturday but the squad is paper thing, especially up front, where the YEP point out correctly our options for the opening saturday are Becchio and Grella.. not good enough really against Derby County.

    dont worry TSS there are plenty of other strikers out there, and if Hooper wants to play in a 2 club league then thats up to him. He wont improve much as a player there as from what i can see there isnt much difference between bottom end of CCC and top of L1 in the SPL.

  3. marc platman

    I guess grella isnt going to get a shout ..in the yorkshire evening post, grayson says that he is looking for another striker but said they have snoddy and sam that can play upfront as somma and gradel are suspended. No mention of grella. I would say that is a telling sign that he wont feature much this term. Hope im wrong as i do rate grella!

    • TSS

      Keeps getting mentioned, but not sure whether he’s the answer to Jermaine Beckford’s goals. I had my heart so set on Hooper that in truth, anyone else will always be second best.

      • Matt BB

        @TSS on the hooper thing I knwo you were dead keen, but you get the impression that Grayson probably wasnt, I think he even managed to (through gritted teeth) claim he knew of McArthur as a player, but nothing re Hooper, I bet Bates told him that Leeds didnt `want’ hooper.. and so neither did he, quite early on when his ridiculous price was revealed by Scunthorpe, and for me Celtic are mugs to pay it.

        Lets all remember that beckford cost £50K and there’ll be dozens of kids released by arsenal and chelsea just like him waiting to be picked up.

        My votes with Austin at Swindon as a good like for like replacement for Beckford. And look at what Beckford is capable of with decent delivery to all the doubters..

  4. Mike

    It seems Grella is not going to get a fair crack from Larry and as our new keeper seems (at the moment) not up to it he could try a few other positions, who knows he may be useful somewhere! If he is no good at the back maybe he can be useful at the front :-)

    • Matt BB

      @mikelufc I agree Grella’s a good prospect but we missed a trick by not loaning him out last season he’d be where Somma is now, who for me has overtaken him in the striking hierarchy.

  5. Scot Harlow

    bates has to fork out some serious cash for a beckford replacement (i.e £1m – £2m). Personally i think Becchio is a great player and without him Beckford wouldn’t have bagged as many as he did over the 3 years for Leeds, but he is not gonna get 20-25 goals realisticly in the Championship.

    Aaron Maclean has handed in a transfer request and i have seen his name rumuored to be on the radar. for me i think he would be a gd replacement…didn’t have a prolific season last year but then neither did Peterborough as a whole…better players around him may see him get goals we need?!

  6. Mark R

    If a potential siging has to think twice and dither over signing for us, then his heart isn’t in it. So I’d call it a close call with Hooper and good luck to him in Scotland.

    Although a pre season match at Hpools, SG did well with the players available & the formation and more importantly got the exact response we needed. This bodes well for the season – and also reminds us that we have some talented players on the books & a manager who can find solutions in adversity.

    A few more players incoming this week I think. Hope we can build on this for the Wolves match.


  7. Chris09

    I think it’s gunna be a premiership youngster on loan, let’s hope he chides wisely and doesn’t panic!!!

  8. Matt BB

    for me we need look no further than paynters former striking partner at Swindon, Charlie Austin, lots of pace, good physical presence, and already has an understanding with paynter.

    Other than that i’d be deploying snodgrass as a striker.

  9. MrBigStuff

    Theres a few out there available on free transfer which would be worth a punt maybe…Vassell, Aliadiere maybe, but like its been said i reckon it’ll be someone on loan, maybe Dellfounso or Jay Simpson…

  10. yorkwhite

    Still think we need a strong CB and a ball winner in the middle of the park. A new David Batty would be nice. I think Bates and co. will live to regret missing out on Hooper. 50 goals in the last two years and still very young. I wouldn’t be suprised to see him going for £10 million + in a couple of years. MOT

  11. thomas

    i think it would be great if leeds could get a deal for nicky maynard( will cost a few million) if not then take the risk forLe Fondre or bret pitman >

  12. MrBigStuff

    demerit and darel russell both on frees would sort out the cb and ball winner we need..

  13. Paul Cranswick

    I have a feeling that we will bring in a premier player on loan instead of buying a striker. Delfouneso would be ideal but unlikely as Villa only have four front line strikers at present. Nemeth at Liverpool would be good as he has shown at U-21 level for Hungary and in the Liverpool reserves that he is a fox in the box. He may go for free signings and Marlon Harewood or Erik Nevland spring to mind. If he buys then I suppose Le Fondre, MacLean, Derek Riordan and Leroy Lita would be more in our price range. It is certainly sobering to think that we cannot compete with Middlesbrough and Wigan in the transfer market. Our defence still looks shaky and we also need a ballwinner. It is strongly rumoured that Leeds are going to loan Ciaran Clark from Villa (England U-20 Intl) and Gavin McCann would fit the bill in midfield for me.

  14. Tim Campbell

    Perhaps we cud use our ‘special’ relationship with the gooners to ask about carlos vela on loan – the only downside to this is that vela has been there a few seasons already and if he gets farmed out on loan he may not be a happy chappy

  15. MrBigStuff

    Maybe someone like Jason Scotland or Ebanks Blake on loan?? Both prolific in championship but no so in top league…

    • Matt BB

      @MrBigStuff I’d think Keogh is more likely to go from Wolves than Ebanks Blake, I also as a few people on here have said dont think theres any money to spend at all, that doesnt make us totally unique (though its embarassing to be outspent by teams like Doncaster) but its worrying.

  16. Mark Warburton

    Heard Michael Chopra wants out of Cardiff…..now he is an out and out goal scorer. Cardiff are skint so maybe that coupled with his ability to get goals might suit Papa Smurfs’ wallet.

  17. Scot Harlow

    Chopra would be a great signing! as would Darel Russell…if Grayson doesn’t do everything in his power to get him i think he may regret it…seen him a few times for Norwich last year and he looke dthe part – this and the fact he is free is enough to make him a must of a signing!

    not convinced about Jason Scotland, hasn’t playe dmuch in last year or so and i have a feeling this could show on the pitch. for me a premiership youngster may not be the answer either i think we have to look at Austin, Roberts, Maclean, Chopra etc for goals.

    • AJ

      Ishmael Miller at WBA ,formerly of City could be the answer .Pacey goalscorer ,has been out injured so down the pecking order a bit as they got promoted without him .

  18. Shaun malone

    If we are gettin loan players to solve are thead thin strike force jay simpson the man he quick pacey striker who what prove to arsene wenger how good he really is he been loan out couple time but like vela been at arsenal abit now think he in last year of contract as well ball winner we do need for sure or maybe get delph bak but I prefer not loan y not give are own youth a chance unless thrown thm in at deepend who no’s if they sink or swim give thm a chance we got one or two but not playing in or round the first team no good for thm

  19. cossie(LUFC)

    If we are just talking about strikers there have been some decent names mentioned but (and I think it is a big but) I don’t think we have any money to spend (or certainly not ‘real’ money so we will be looking at frees or loans. If we did have the cash Scotland would be ideal although he might still be too expensive, Chopra we just counldn’t afford. La Fondre is too much of a gamble, I think we are gambling with Paynter anyway. Like Simpson from Arsenal but don’t think we have any chance of Delfonso. One thing for sure, please don’t re-sign Watt!

  20. Matthew Stephenson

    We need to sign a striker, desperately. I think that’s not only important for the squad but for the fans also, although I don’t envy the striker who has to come in with the tag of being “Beckord’s Replacement”.

    I’d bet every penny I’ve ever earnt that IF we do bring someone in, it’ll be a loan signing. Not the end of the world but I’d hope for more.

    Not a fan of Snoddy as a striker, he can’t finish and he’s indecisive.

    I remain hopeful on the Hooper front.

  21. Matt BB

    @cossieLUFC why are you so diametrically opposed to Watt? I thought he was one of Graysons better loan signings?

    • Matthew Stephenson

      Watt is a good player and it would be niave to assume he wouldn’t be a great addition to the squad, maybe not a first team regular.

      That said, he’s not a Beckford replacement and any signings other than that will be met with a luke warm response by the fans.

  22. Marc Butterworth

    I dont think any new striker will be coming in to be honest. I am fully expecting us to go into the season with Becchio up front by himself in a 4-5-1 formation. I just dont think we have the money unless we can offload the likes of Kandol and Robinson.

    • Matt BB

      @sirquej Yes I can imagine they are a bit like millstones round our necks at the moment, but Kandol has a record of scoring in the championship with Carlton if you recall, are we being harsh on him? if we’re stuck with them then we play them (sadly) thats my view or at least loan thenm out to some of the better league 1 teams.

  23. wombat

    the press say nugent of portsmouth is available for 2 million he would be a quality signing

    • Dje


      Talk is that Hooper is off to Celtic for the same amount. I don’t think we’ve got the cash, alas.

  24. derbyshirewhite

    Whatever the line up against Derby our closed season mission to find a Beckford replacement has to be scored as a ‘fail’. It’s less than two weeks before we kick-off which is insufficient time to work with a new recruit either in terms of their fitness level or team understanding.

  25. patrick o toole

    Did we make an offer for Hooper? Did he turn us down? I agree with an earlier post, this guy is going to be a top player and would be well worth the investment. It is quite depressing that we dont seem to have any money to spend though as we desperately need a proven goalscorer and a ball winning midfielder

  26. pete

    Right, everyone get on Football Manager and find us a new striker…I think when more premier league moves take place, we can potentially widen our net.

    For example, if Spurs sign another striker, Keane or Pavlyuchenko might be available at least on a short term loan. Or, say Wolves buy Cameron Jerome, Doyle is obviously guaranteed his place, Fletcher and Jerome are in the squad, so Ebanks-Blake and Keogh may be available.

    Unfortunately, we aren’t in a position to get the quality we need when we want it – we need it to filter down. When it does filter down to us, we then send out our fringe players to L1/L2. The only way we’d buy a player is if he was coming up through divisions, so Austin is hopefully a possiblity.

    As an aside, how about trying a cheeky attempt for either Jordan Rhodes or Lee Novak?

  27. wombat

    a friend of mine looks after matt derbyshires kids when he comes back to blackburn. when he was with rovers i saw him constantlt in bookies with him. he is a relative i will try and find out if theres in rumour leeds want him. he used 2 supply friends of mine with match tickets home and away. he would be an excellent replacement 4 beckford but last time i spoke 2 him 3 weeks ago he said 1 of the teams in moscow were interested in him.

  28. pete

    Our big signing (if there is one) may well be in midfield…since we haven’t given anybody Squad Number 4 yet. Just hope whoever it is shows the qualities we expect from our Number 4.

    Michael Brown makes Mark van Bommel look soft, so why not him?

  29. hughzy

    well man city have 37 players on there books you can only register 25 players with the pl so wat about a punt on michael johnson on loan? looked very gud before an injury

  30. Paul South Wales

    I’m totally gutted about Hooper if he has signed for Celtic, I had my heart set on signing him, but if he’s gone elsewhere then it’s a closed chapter and time to get someone else in. I hope to God we do or we’ll struggle big time next season. There have been some interesting names put forward and I think Austin would be a good shout, so too Nugent, as for Keane, no way he’d come down to CCC at the moment. SG must know we urgently need two more players and i’m sure he’ll deliver the goods

  31. Dje

    Is/was Matt Derbyshire an out-and-out-striker? I thought he was more of an attacking midfielder/wide man; or have I got the wrong guy?

  32. hughzy

    Derbyshire played all over the place for blackburn but his best position was always upfront hes a proper poacher he’d be great alongside luca lets just see if uncle ken gets his purse out at all this summer


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