Leeds United pretty much bottled the 2016-17 campaign of the Sky Bet Championship as they crumbled like a house of cards in the business end of the season. The Whites did show great ability during the majority of the games last term under the tutelage of Garry Monk but agonisingly, all their efforts went in vain as they withered away into nothingness and failed to get a play-off spot.
Monk’s exit implies that it would be important for his successor at the Elland Road to ensure that the morale in the dressing room stays positive next season so that the West Yorkshire based outfit could launch a better fight for top-flight football and one of the ways to do the same would be by injecting quality names into their arsenal.
Norwich City’s Jonny Howson is on the wish-list of the club and with the news emerging that he has rejected an extension with the Canaries, the ball seems to be in Leeds United’s court.
Just get Howson and shore up the midfield
An academy graduate of the Peacocks, Howson made over 200 appearances for them before making a switch to Norwich City in the January transfer window of 2012 and took very little time to get into the scheme of things at the Carrow Road.
The Englishman mustered a fine season with Norwich in the season which just transpired as he scored 6 goals and mustered 7 assists in 33 appearances in the Championship for his employers apart from clocking 1.7 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.4 clearances and 0.2 blocks per game on an average.
More often than not, we found that Leeds United were lacking ideas in the middle of the pitch which led to an apparent lack of chances for Chris Wood to score goals. They needed someone who could keep possession intact, get into physical battles and create adequate goal-scoring chances and without any shadow of a doubt, Howson would perfectly meet their needs. He is clinical, is a very busy customer and dictates the game from the middle of the pitch.
Besides, the 29-year-old is a versatile veteran and has the ability to ply his trade as a defensive midfielder, central attacking midfielder as well as a right winger. His positioning sense is exemplary and it has been evident so far that he maintains a fine balance between his attacking and defensive endeavours.
Howson has truckloads of Championship experience and could be a huge coup for Leeds United as they look forward to creating a stronger squad which can knock on the door of promotion once again next season.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored