Leeds United to move for new striker in January

Chris Wood leaves the field on Tuesday night with a hamstring injury.
Chris Wood leaves the field on Tuesday night with a hamstring injury.
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Garry Monk will go back into the market for a new striker next month after watching Chris Wood limp out of Leeds United’s 2-0 victory over Reading.

Monk confirmed that a forward was high on his list of priorities for the January transfer window as he waited for news on the severity of Wood’s injury.

Leeds sent the 25-year-old for an assessment on his hamstring after the club’s top scorer pulled up during the first half of yesterday’s win at Elland Road.

Monk is optimistic that Wood, who missed two months of last season with a hamstring strain, has avoided any serious damage but the concern about his 14-goal striker highlighted the shortage of cover for him.

Leeds signed two goalscorers in Marcus Antonsson and Kemar Roofe during the summer but Monk lacks an alternative centre-forward capable of playing alone up front.

United’s boss tried and failed to bring an additional striker to Elland Road in the last few days of the last window as interest in West Ham United’s Ashley Fletcher and Arsenal’s Yaya Sanogo came to nothing.

Leeds are little over two weeks away from January, coming with the club in firm contention for promotion from the Championship, and Monk said: “Striker’s one area, definitely. I said that in the summer and it’s one area we need to strengthen.

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“There are other areas too but I’m sure the club’s working hard to address those situations. For now, I just focus on the group I’ve got.”

Wood opened the scoring against Reading with a 19th-minute strike, his 11th league goal of the term, but he was forced to leave the field after calling for treatment on the half-hour.

His finishing has underpinned a convincing run of form which left Leeds fifth in the Championship table at full-time yesterday, two behind Reading in third. No other player in Monk’s squad has scored more than three league goals.

Wood now faces a fight to be fit for Saturday’s meeting with Brentford, the club’s last game before Christmas, and Monk said: “He felt he needed to come off and you don’t want to risk it in those situations.

“It didn’t look serious to me, not in the way where someone sprints and a hamstring goes. It was more a case of him feeling something but in those situations you have to err on the side of caution.”

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