Noel Whelan has urged Leeds United to show some ambition and sign Preston North End striker Jordan Hugill this month.
The Championship promotion hopefuls failed to score for the third consecutive league match as they sunk to a 1-0 defeat to Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Saturday.
Kemar Roofe once again led the Leeds front line as they carved out a series of chances but Thomas Christiansen’s side were made to pay for their lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.
Ex-Elland Road striker Whelan is convinced that the answer to the team’s problems up front can be found at second-tier rivals Preston and urged his former side to make a swoop for the 25-year-old before the transfer window shuts.
“They should sign Jordan Hugill,” Whelan told BBC Radio Leeds in the aftermath of United’s defeat to Ipswich. “No disrespect to Preston, but if it is a choice between them and Leeds, as a player you’re going to choose Leeds. I’m sure he would love to come.
“He is worth £10million now, pay £10million. At the end of the season he could be worth £15million. If a club wants you, you will go to a club showing you love and showing ambition.
“If it doesn’t work this year, you have a proper striker for next year.”
Leeds have struggled to replace the goals and impact of Chris Wood this season, and a crying out for a centre-forward who can lead the line, pull defenders out of position and create space for others. And, most importantly of all, put the ball in the back of the net. None of Roofe, Pierre-Michael Lasogga, Caleb Ekuban and Jay-Roy Grot have proved to be that player this season. The vastly-improved Hugill would be an upgrade on them all. He has a decent scoring record, with 30 goals from 112 Preston matches, including 10 goals from 27 appearances this season, and is entering his peak years. As Whelan points out, he is good and is going to get better. He would be a major upgrade on the current strikers at Christiansen’s disposal.