Joel Pohjanpalo has confirmed that he had an option to join Leeds United.
The 25-year-old who joined Hamburg from Bayer Leverkusen on loan has been in terrific form.
He has scored eight goals from 11 League games for the Bundesliga 2 club this season.
“It was a strong option. It was an exciting option because the fact that the club was close to rising to the Premier League,” he said when talking about the possibility of joining Leeds United according to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.
“Leverkusen wanted me to stay close to them. HSV and Leeds both play more or less in the same way, and it seemed that HSV was close to Leverkusen.”
Some will argue that the Finland international could have provided strong competition to Patrick Bamford.
Whilst the Whites are on top of the Championship standings, their lead could have been greater if they had a more prolific striker than the 26-year-old. Bamford has managed 13 Championship goals from 36 appearances this season.
If Leeds do end up getting promoted to the Premier League next season, many pundits do believe that they will need to invest in new strikers.
From another perspective, Leeds may have dodged a bullet. Pohjanpalo has also struggled with injury problems during recent years. Pohjanpalo has said that the presence of Jonas Boldt as Hamburg’s sporting director played a role in his decision to join them.
Boldt was appointed as Hamburg’s sporting director last summer. He previously worked for Leverkusen and played a role in taking the 32 times capped Finland international there in 2013.
It remains to be seen what the future will hold for Pohlanpalo. His form from this season does suggest that he is good enough to play in the Bundesliga and Leverkusen may look to re-integrate him into their first-team ahead of next season.
Leverkusen are currently in fifth place on the German league standings and have a chance to qualify for the Champions League next season.