Former Leeds United player Noel Whelan says the Whites could have a “real gem” in Jean-Kevin Augustin, but has warned them against paying over the odds for the striker.
Augustin signed for the West Yorkshire club in the January on a six-month loan deal from Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig with an option to make the move permanent.
He was brought in to provide competition to Patrick Bamford, who has been criticised for his wasteful finishing in the 2019/20 season, but has failed to make the desired impact as of yet with the Frenchman making just three appearances for a combined 48 minutes so far and failing to get on the scoresheet.
He has also been left out of the squad completely on five occasions due to fitness concerns, while he failed to make it off the substitutes bench in Leeds’ 1-0 win over Reading back in February.
After watching the 22-year-old struggle during his first few months at Elland Road, Whelan has questioned whether Augustin is worth the money Leeds would have pay to tie him up to a long-term contract, although insists if he can get himself in top condition both mentally and physically then he could prove to be a smart investment.
In an interview with Football Insider, relayed on The 72, Whelan said: “To put the money on the table is a risk, if he is going to be the record signing he needs to make a difference straight away.
“At the minute he has not made any difference and he has not been a part of this promotion push.
“He has had 55 minutes maximum and even with that he was fighting himself – his fitness and form. To be honest he was trying too hard.
“If we can get him into a good frame of mind and the fitness levels we expect we could have a real gem on our hands.”
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa has made no secret of the fact he is a fan of Augustin, so is likely to want to give him a chance to prove himself when football is able to resume.
Having played for Paris Saint Germain, AS Monaco and RB Leipzig, the frontman undoubtedly has the talent to make a success of his time with the Whites, but will need to quickly find his rhythm if he is to do enough to earn a deal in the remaining nine games of the Championship season.