Why Leeds should not keep Mirco Antenucci

By Ben Clarke

Leeds United’s man of the hour is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to open talks with the Whites despite having scored four goals in his last three games and the clubs leading goal scorer this season.

The Italian has scored nine goals this campaign after his brace against Bolton in United’s last home game, which was his first goal since November. The bearded forward was also Leeds’ top scorer last season with ten and there is no doubt in his ability to finish but Antenucci has struggled to get a regular run of games in his two seasons at the club, with only Darko Milinic and Neil Redfearn (to begin with) giving him the chance he needs.

This brings into question his ability to adapt to different formations. Antenucci’s best form has come when Leeds have played two up top and he has struggled to get into the side when the Whites have used one striker as a focal point. This role is more suited to big money signing Chris Wood, who Uwe Rosler said would have to play all of Leeds’ games, such is his importance to the one striker formation. Even in Redfearn’s best spell this time last year, he opted to play Steve Morrison in that role, who is now in League 1 with Millwall.

So should Leeds United keep a striker who has shown promise but struggles to get into the side? Davide Somma found himself in a similar situation under Simon Grayson but still managed 11 goals with most of his appearances coming off the bench and if Steve Evans is still here next season this is a role he may see Antenucci playing.

Sadly this is not something I can see happening as Mirco Antenucci plays well when he’s in the side and things are going his way but he seems to lose heart when his opportunities are limited or he is asked to play a different role. In addition the birth of his second daughter may tempt him to move back to his homeland, where there appears to be plenty of interest for the former Ternana forward.

If Leeds United are to make a proper move for promotion Chris Wood should be the benchmark for the forward line that has struggled to score anywhere needs the amount to challenge the top six.

However, that said if owner Massimo Cellino will not invest the required amount in the summer on proven Championship quality then Leeds United may need Mirco Antenucci’s services as his goals will leave a hole in a weak pool of forwards if he is not adequately replaced.

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