DAVIDE SOMMA admits to being delighted with his exploits in a breakthrough 2010-11 season with Leeds United – but insists he still remains a work in progress.
The South African international striker exploded onto the United scene with a 12-goal haul in 2010-11 – with many of his goals coming from the bench with boss Simon Grayson adopting a 4-2-3-1 system for most of the campaign, with Luciano Becchio a shoo-in choice as a lone striker.
It remains to be seen whether the Whites boss deploys a conventional 4-4-2 – which United used in the final throes of the campaign – or reverts back to a one-striker system, which served him so well for the bulk of it, next term.
Somma is the first to acknowledge the loan ranger role – in which he had minimal impact when handed that starting berth in preference to Becchio for the Watford home clash on April 16 – is something he still needs to master, with Grayson no doubt mindful of the need to be flexible again in 2011-12.
The 6ft 1in forward, who started 12 Championship games and was sub a further seventeen times, said: “I’ve definitely come a long way, thank God. I had to go to Lincoln last year and learn about (English) football and I did well and have taken it into my game at Leeds.
“The manager there (Chris Sutton) told me how to make my runs and be patient.
“We did play one up front at Lincoln, but I know I’ve got to work more (on playing) by myself up front. I think me and Luciano are the best pair; if I can have somebody that can win headers and me running off and getting second balls, that’s my strength.
“Me winning headers is not really my strength. If I have someone around me, then I feel we can play. But I know I’ve got to develop my game more.
“Obviously, someone had to fill (Jermaine) Beckford’s place. Max Gradel and Luciano have done well with all the goals, but I think I’ve done alright.”
“But it’s always nice to start and see if you can get on the scoresheet from the start too. It would be nice to show I’m not just a ‘supersub’, although I’ll take that for now!”
Meanwhile, the FA have confirmed they will now announce England’s final 23-man squad for this summer’s European U21 Championships in Denmark on Monday.
Speculation had been rife that the announcement – with Whites skipper Jonathan Howson in the provisional squad of 40 and with an outside chance of making the final cut – would be made yesterday.
This came after Arsene Wenger revealed that Arsenal midfield prodigy Jack Wilshere was definitely in the final 23, much to his consternation after his requests to rest the player were ignored.
The FA were expected to subsequently confirm the rest of the squad, but the decision has been put off until the start of the new working week.
England’s campaign begins on June 12 and they will play three games in eight days and five in just over a fortnight if they reach the final.
Former United full-back Jason Crowe, who left the club in January after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent, is set to join Leyton Orient on a permanent deal.
lROCHDALE chief executive Colin Garlick has dismissed speculation linking boss Keith Hill with the vacant managerial positions at South Yorkshire sides Barnsley and Sheffield United.