Leeds United fans aren’t too enthused about the signing of Jerry Mbakogu.
The deal has been reported in Italy as agreed and in February, Carpi’s general manager Matteo Scali was quoted as saying: “There’s a gentleman agreement with Leeds for June.”
Last week, Gianni Rosati, is an Italian director of sport, and ‘market expert’ according to Corriere Adriatico, was speaking ahead of Carpi’s match against Ascoli, and said: “For Ascoli it would be better if he doesn’t play, even if his head is now in England, at Leeds.”
Mbakogu didn’t play, yet again, and that’s got to be a concern for Leeds United given there have been reports of long term knee issues.
But there was good news from Carpi’s coach Antonio Calabro, speaking to Gazzetta di Modena.
He confirmed the striker will be back training soon, and his words obviously make it clear how important Mbakogu is considered at Carpi: “I’m sure that with Jerry the team would have done even more recently, but this gives even greater value to what has been done, because if the team has done well even without him it means that we worked in the right way. Jerry will be back training with us next week.”
Leeds United fans have been concerned that Mbakogu, a centre forward, has only scored 6 goals this season in Serie B. Despite that, there’s a lot of praise been sent the way of the 25 year old by both his club and the Italian media.
Back in January, Gazzetta dello Sport reported Leeds had scouted Mbakogu against Spezia, and that they ‘chose the right day’ as he performed very well in a 2-1 victory. Scoring and adding an assist, Mbakogu was the ‘driver of success’ for Carpi and it wasn’t long after that an agreed deal was claimed.
Including 2 goals in 2 Copa Italia matches, Mbakogu has found the back of the net 8 times in 23 matches, and added 3 assists. It’s not amazing, but it’s certainly not terrible either.
There’s a fair argument to be made that Leeds United may be better sourcing Championship experience, and that they could aim a bit higher, but perhaps Mbakogu isn’t as bad as glancing at his statistics would suggest.