Former Leeds United forward Noel Whelan has suggested that he thinks the Whites could potentially be able to avoid signing Jean-Kevin Augustin on a permanent deal during the next transfer window.
Augustin arrived at Elland from RB Leipzig in January on a loan deal until the end of the campaign, with Marcelo Bielsa hoping the forward could come in and provide some quality competition for Patrick Bamford up front in the second half of the campaign.
However, the 22-year-old has been limited to just three short substitute appearances for the Whites, with the forward suffering through injury problems and also being unable to get anywhere near dislodging Bamford as the club’s main striker.
The Whites reportedly have an obligation to sign Augustin permanently in the next transfer window were they to go on and secure promotion, but the striker has had little impact so far and could be set to miss the re-start of the campaign through another injury set back.
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Speaking to the Football Insider, Whelan suggested that Leeds should probably have some form of get out clause if they do not want to sign him on a permanent deal, and suggested it would be a risk to spend a large fee on him given he has made such little impact.
He said: “I don’t know where it stands now on signing the player because it seems to me he’s struggling to keep himself fit and you don’t want to take a risk on a player you know nothing about really.
“You’ve not seen him fit at his best so it makes it a bigger risk now about making that signing permanent.
“There’s got to be something, you’d have liked to have thought they’d have put in he’s got to play a certain amount of games or minutes for this obligation to actually kick in. We’ve hardly seen him, Forshaw’s played more minutes than Augustin and he’s been injured since September!
“We still have no idea what this player’s going to offer us. It remains a massive doubt, there’s got to be a lot of talking to do to justify this signing, which would be a record signing.”
It is hard to disagree with Whelan’s assessment here, with Augustin not having managed to show much sign of being able to make an impact at Elland Road – and while he might have been somewhat unfortunate with injuries it is a big risk to sign a player who you don’t know a lot about.
Were Leeds to go on and secure promotion they will be needing to add to their attacking options to improve their ability to survive in the Premier League, and if they were to spend a large fee on Augustin that could limit the spending power they have to bring in another more reliable forward.
It will therefore be interesting to see what happens with Augustin over the next transfer window and to see whether Leeds do try and pull out of any permanent move for him, but unless they do have some form of get out clause it could prove very difficult to stop a move.