It was confirmed earlier in the week that Marcelo Bielsa will remain at Elland Road for at least another year, and it seems the boss has wasted no time in targeting players who can add the missing ingredient to his Whites strike force.
A source from within the club has allegedly told Football Insider that we are monitoring Southampton forward Sam Gallagher, as it is expected the 23-year-old will be made available for a transfer by his south coast side.
The forward still has two years remaining on a £40,000-a-week contract at the St Mary’s stadium, but is thought to be attracting interest from other Championship sides along with a handful of Premier League outfits.
Gallagher was a rarely used option by either Mark Hughes or Ralph Hasenhuttl during the Saints’ 2018/19 campaign, with the former England and Scotland youth international only offered six appearances across all senior competitions.
The £2.7million-rated striker, as per TransferMarkt, also only played 97 minutes for the Southampton first-team, spread over four late, second-half substitute outings in the Premier League and likewise in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
Given his limited game time, it would be harsh to cast judgement on his potential. However, the Crediton-born striker – who can also play on the wing – failed to score a single goal in the recently concluded season, and had only broken the goal line twice in his previous 20 senior games for the St Mary’s natives.
Even during loan spells in the Championship with Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City and Milton Keynes Dons, the 6 ft 3 Saints academy product only managed 17 goals in 89 games, having played a total of 5,792 minutes.
Thus, any move for Gallagher would likely be as nothing more than a back-up option in case Kemar Roofe or Patrick Bamford are struck by injuries again, and the search for the missing ingredient that will fire us into the top-flight must go on.