Leeds United confirmed the arrival of sought-after striker Joël Piroe from Swansea City on a four-year deal for £10.5m, but what can he bring to Elland Road?
The 24-year-old has been a lethal threat for the Swans since his arrival from PSV Eindhoven in 2021. In his first season in South Wales, Piroe netted 22 goals in 45 EFL Championship appearances and last term, he scored on 19 occasions.
Firmly establishing himself as a consistent goal-scorer in the second tier, the Dutchman has signed for newly-relegated Leeds as they look to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Daniel Farke’s side needed to add a new striker to their ranks with Patrick Bamford suffering from long-term injury issues while Georginio Rutter, signed in January from Hoffenheim for £36m, is yet to open his account in West Yorkshire.
The arrival of Piroe is a coup for Leeds with Premier League outfits reportedly interested in his services. Not to mention that Southampton, now managed by ex-Swansea boss Russell Martin, was desperate for the forward to follow him to St Mary’s Stadium.
He would have most likely been a perfect fit at Southampton as well in my opinion. Last season at Swansea, Martin’s side had the highest average possession in the division and Piroe was excellent in that system.
Above all, Piroe will bring goals to Leeds. As shown by his previous two seasons in the Championship, he is consistent at this level and will continue to be a handful to many opposing defenders.
Also, last season, he took 3.2 shots per 90 and he scored 0.4 goals per 90 – emphasising why a host of top-flight and Championship clubs were after his signature.
Piroe, similar to many modern-day number nines, drops into space and is composed, particularly in front of goal.
This often sees him drop in between the defensive and midfield lines before turning and driving towards goal showing that he is excellent with his back to goal.
Despite his assist numbers not being as high as his goal-scoring numbers, Piroe can almost play as an attacking midfielder as well. He contributed to six goals in his debut Championship campaign, before assisting two last term.
Swansea expected their talisman to depart the Swansea.com Stadium. New manager Michael Duff, who joined from Barnsley in the summer, signed Jerry Yates from Blackpool in the summer.
Piroe quickly asserted himself as a fan favourite at Swansea and he could play a pivotal role in Leeds’ promotion charge this campaign.