Huddersfield Town have lacked a real goal threat for a lot of the season and it’s been a major headache for Carlos Corberan.
Oumar Niasse and Yaya Sanogo have been free agents signed to combat that lack of firepower, with the burden of scoring goals firmly on Fraizer Campbell. He ranks as the club’s leading goalscorer this season with seven to his name, but the 33-year-old has struggled to be that consistent menace in the penalty area.
The pressure had been building on Campbell during the opening months of the season, but it became more intense when Josh Koroma picked up a hamstring injury in December’s win over Sheffield Wednesday.
At the point of Koroma picking up that injury, he was having a real influence on Huddersfield’s season at a time when there was more talk of a surprise play-off push than the relegation chatter we are used to now.
Koroma had opened the scoring against Sheffield Wednesday that evening with a clever finish after working a shooting opportunity onto his left foot. He’d also won the free-kick that Isaac Mbenza was able to lash home to tee Corberan’s side up for a 2-0 win.
That goal was Koroma’s sixth of the season for Huddersfield and he was carrying the goal threat from out on the left flank, allowing Campbell the freedom to just lead the line without too much scrutiny on his finishing.
There were other aspects of Koroma’s game that were superb and contributing to that threat on goal: averaging over three shots on goal per game, 2.33 crosses, 1.23 passes into the final third and 2.46 passes into the penalty area (Wyscout).
By the time he picked up his injury, Koroma had been involved in eight goals, with two assists to add to his tally of six goals. 19 shot assists tell you that his wasteful teammates cost him more in this department, but again, you can’t help but admire the impact Koroma was having.
With the January transfer window looming, Corberan was quizzed on interest in Koroma. Whilst the Huddersfield head coach will not have wanted to lose the 22-year-old, he answered with an upbeat tone, as if to say: ‘It shows he’s doing something right’.
As it was, Koroma’s hamstring injury, which he will not return from until late April, stopped that kind of talk. If he’s lucky, Koroma will get the final month of the 2020/21 season, but that feels like a short period of time for him to truly put himself back in the shop window like he would have been in January.
That, then, you feel is a little segment of good news for Huddersfield, as they look to assert themselves once more after relegation from the Premier League almost two seasons ago. Of course, it will not always be like that and future transfer windows might throw up fresh problems, but the short-term win is there at the moment.
Koroma is one player that Huddersfield will want to retain and having pulled him from the spotlight, albeit through an injury, will make the upcoming summer transfer window that little bit easier.
With that in mind, it’s maybe been worth the added pressure on Campbell and scramble for free agents.