Why Leeds United should reignite their interest in Sebastian Andersson
Just a few days before the international summer deadline in October, a report from German magazine Kicker (h/t Chronicle Live) had mentioned Leeds United among a host of clubs interested in signing Sebastian Andersson, who was then plying his trade with Union Berlin in the Bundesliga.
Newcastle, West Brom, Schalke, Celtic, Bournemouth, and Brentford were all believed to be chasing the 28-year-old hitman but the Swedish international eventually completed a move to fellow Bundesliga rivals FC Koln.
Sebastian Andersson started his professional career with Angelholms FF in the Swedish second-tier before going on to enjoy successful stints at Kalmar FF, Djurgardens IF, and IFK Norrkoping in the top-flight.
He bagged 36 goals in 138 career appearances in the Allsvenskan before moving abroad for the first time in his career with German second-tier club FC Kaiserslautern in the summer of 2017.
The 28-year-old bagged 12 goals and 4 assists in the 2017-18 2.Bundesliga, although that wasn’t enough to save his club from relegation. Andersson then joined Union Berlin in the second division and fired the club to promotion with 12 goals and 5 assists in the following campaign.
Andersson made a seamless transition to the Bundesliga and plundered 12 goals in 33 league appearances last season as Union Berlin romped home to an impressive 11th-place finish. He has hit the ground running following his move to Koln in the summer, registering a goal and an assist in 4 appearances this so far season.
A full international for Sweden since 2017, Andersson has scored 3 goals in 9 appearances for his nation.
Andersson would add another dimension to Leeds attack
Patrick Bamford has made a great start to life in the Premier League with 6 goals in 6 games so far. Rodrigo Moreno has also caught the eye after joining the Whites in the summer window.
Marcelo Bielsa’s unwavering trust in Bamford has seen the former Chelsea man retain his status as the club’s undisputed first-choice No.9 in the top-flight, with Rodrigo deployed in a playmaking role.
Leeds don’t have much depth in their striking ranks, however, with youngster Tyler Roberts the only feasible alternative to Bamford and Rodrigo up top. Hence, a potential injury to either of the two first-choice attackers later on in the campaign would render the West Yorkshire giants seriously short of cover in front of goal.
Leeds United need at least another striker to compete with Bamford for the No.9 role and Sebastian Andersson could be an effective option for the Whites after his impressive returns in the Bundesliga last season.
What’s more impressive was that the Swedish frontman took a promoted side in Germany to unprecedented heights, something that should prompt Leeds to go back in the market for his services.
Standing at 6ft 3in with a towering frame, Andersson would offer much more of an aerial threat as compared to the likes of Bamford or Rodrigo. The 28-year-old averages a staggering 7.3 aerial duels per game in the Bundesliga this season, which comfortably betters Bamford’s average of 0.6 and Rodrigo’s average of 1 per game in the PL.
Also, it is easy to conclude from his heat map last season that Andersson likes to drop deep and brings others into the game with his hold-up play. Hence, he would also offer Bielsa with a much-needed focal point in the final third, which would allow him to alter dynamics based on the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses.
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Sebastian Andersson might not be a household name in Europe like Rodrigo but has proven himself to be an effective striker in Germany. He still has several years left in him prime at 28 and Leeds United making a renewed attempt to sign him in January would put them in good stead for an impressive finish in the Premier League.