Why Leeds should sign Mainz star Jean-Philippe Mateta to boost their attack
According to Leeds Live, Jean-Philippe Mateta of Mainz is the latest player to be linked with Leeds United. His goalscoring rate has been impressive this season, which has probably attracted the attention of Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa. It still remains to be seen if Mainz will allow their prized asset to leave.
Born in France, Mateta started his journey with his hometown club Olympique de Sevran before rising through the youth ranks of LB Chateauroux. After making 27 appearances for the former side, he was signed by Lyon in September 2016.
However, he struggled at Groupama Stadium, making just two league appearances and was sent on loan to Le Havre. He excelled with the Ligue 2 side, scoring 19 goals in 37 games, which earned him a move to the Bundesliga with Mainz in the summer of 2018.
The 23-year-old missed large quarters of the previous campaign due to an injury but has come back strongly this term, scoring 7 times from 14 Bundesliga outings for Mainz so far. Mateta earned 9 caps for France U-21s earlier in his career but remains uncapped at the senior international level.
Jean-Philippe Mateta can add depth to the Leeds attack
Leeds United have been one of the best sides to watch this season to watch from a neutral standpoint. Under the charismatic Marcelo Bielsa, they have produced some fantastic football, even if some of the games resulted in losses.
However, what is astonishing is that they don’t have another recognised striker other than Patrick Bamford. The Englishman scored a bulk of the team’s goals but this season, it is clear that he needs someone else to chip in with the goals occasionally so that he does not burn out in the second half of the season.
While Rodrigo Moreno was signed, he has predominantly been used as an attacking midfielder. Now the problem is that there is no other senior striker to call upon in the event Bamford is injured or needs to be rested.
Thus, Leeds should make a renewed attempt to sign Jean-Philippe Mateta in January or next summer. The Frenchman is widely regarded as one of the best young centre-forwards in the Bundesliga and has racked up an impressive tally of 27 goals in 70 games for Mainz in all competitions.
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Apart from his obvious potential and pedigree as a young striker, Mateta also has the physicality to thrive in the rough-and-tough nature of the Premier League. Standing at 6ft 4in with an imposing frame, the Frenchman would add a much-needed focal point to Newcastle’s attack.