When your a team fighting in the Championship, receiving a an eight-figure fee for just two players is something that would be difficult for anyone to turn down. But, Leeds United could well regret letting Ross McCormack and Matt Smith exit Elland Road.
I know that some of you may be thinking that this is an awfully strange time to make such a comment, considering the club that shelled out crazy money for the duo, the enigmatic Fulham FC, suffered a debilitating 3-0 reverse with their two main men supposedly leading the line.
Furthermore, the Craven Cottage massacre inflicted by the Whites – with goals from Sam Byram, Sol Bamba and Mirco Antenucci – left the Cottagers teetering on the brink of a second successive relegation. They will now need to find goals or, failing that, hope that the sides below them remain as poor as they have been all season.
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With Leeds’ season now over; probably can’t go down and are even less likely to reach the play-offs, they can start to look at what went right and what went wrong this season.
On the positives column, a resounding space is taken up by the form of youngsters Alex Mowatt, Sam Byram and Lewis Cook – they genuinely look the real deal. Whilst in that list you have two midfielders and a defender, none of the above are strikers.
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Massimo Cellino may have laughed his way all the way to the bank (and later gone crying to the tax man), but he never really reinvested the money into a source of goals.
Perhaps the club were hoping that experienced hands Billy Sharp and Steve Morison – with the added continental nous of Antenucci – would have been enough to fire them up the table.
However, the sorry statistic is that the trio between them have notched just 14 goals.
At least McCormack and Smith have managed 19 – the latter’s coming mostly on-loan, to be fair – and you imagine in a better Leeds side that the number would be greater.
It’s the sort of amount that proves to be the difference between mid-table and play-offs. If the Yorkshire club are serious about ending their Premier League absence, they must consider the turnover of playing staff a little more carefully.
It may not have worked for Fulham, and, quite frankly, with the money they spent, it was never going to. However, Leeds must look at the London club for a lesson on how not to do things.
Perhaps they could entice their strike duo back this summer? Whilst McCormack's exit was a bitter pill to swallow, his form in the 2013/14 season would be welcome once again at Elland Road.
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