BBC Sport pundit Noel Whelan has shared concern over Leeds United’s loan-to-buy deal for RB Leipzig forward Jean-Kevin Augustin.
The Whites announced the capture of the Frenchman on Monday morning, with Augustin moving to Elland Road after seeing his one-season deal with Ligue 1 side AS Monaco cut short after struggling to establish himself in the Principality.
Les Monegasques only called on Augustin to start two of his ten league appearances and never saw the 22-year-old find the back of the net in the French top-flight, though he scored the opening strike in a 2-1 Coupe de France tie with Olympique de Marseille last October.
Augustin’s struggles in the French league have not concerned Whelan over his undoubted talent, but our former striker fears the club have taken a risk in signing the Paris-born forward as he will now have to adjust to a new league mid-way through a promotion challenge.
Whelan feels Director of Football Victor Orta and boss Marcelo Bielsa ought to have prioritised signing someone proven in the English leagues, and not one with 13 goals in 111 first-team games between spells with Paris Saint-Germain, Leipzig and Monaco.
“He seems quite handy – a lot of people raving about him, but maybe not hit the heights of what’s expected,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“He’s got goals, he’s got skill, seems to have a lot of power and pace, which would suit what Leeds are looking for, and he can play on the wing as well.
Are Whelan's concerns fair?
“I think it’s always a bit strange when you’re looking abroad, I think you’re always taking a risk when you bring in a foreign player because you don’t know too much about his attitude, how he’s going to adjust to life in the Championship – but when you’re looking at potential, it’s definitely there.
“If anyone can get the best out of somebody with that amount of potential its Marcelo Bielsa.”
But a potential future centre-forward partner for Patrick Bamford, as well as one for the meantime, is not the only thing Leeds have signed in acquiring Augustin, as the former France U21 international is fully capable of playing anywhere across the front line of attack.
Across his career in youth and senior football, the 22-year-old has played 95 times as the out-and-out centre-forward, but also 16 times on the right-hand side, four times on the left and once as an attacking midfielder.
He also scored three goals and was credited with one assist when fielded on the right-wing, including a strike against BK Hacken in a Europa League Qualifying tie.
Whelan’s concerns over the forward’s attitude is only something that time will reveal whether to be worth considering or not, but the quality Augustin will add should vastly benefit our bid for top-flight football if he can establish himself in Bielsa’s plans soon enough.
In other Leeds United news, reports have claimed the club will not be making any signings to replace a 28-year-old this month.