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Adam Le Fondre: The Right Move?

Adam Le Fondre notching 39 goals in 104 league appearances doesn't tell the whole story of a player who's scored more goals from then bench than any other player in a Premier League season. So often left out of the starting XI, but still finished the club's top scorer in all of his three seasons here.

ALF seems to have always been disenchanted with his role at the club, seeing himself as more than a 'super sub', and the statistics would somewhat agree with him. Of the 27 games he started this season we won 13, or 48%. When not in the team that figure drops to 6 from 21, or 29%. Admittedly he was on the bench for the tough December run, and in matches away at Burnley, and Wigan, which may slightly skew this in his favour.

For a team who were 16th in terms of goals from open play, and 20th in shots per game a clinical goalscorer is key. Le Fondre had the second best conversion rate, behind Hernandez, in the Premier League last season scoring on 22% of his shots. Unfortunately for Le Fondre he's only been able to muster 1.4 shots per game in the Championship. Some quick maths tells us that means he's had around 53 shots this year, which equates to a 28% conversion rate. Of course, if you take away his 6 goals in two games then you're left with 9 goals over the rest of the season, and penalties dwindle that number further - although unlike Billy Sharp he did tend to convert.

A key criticism of ALF is that he doesn't contribute enough to the team when he's not scoring, and of all our offensive options he's the one who had created the least number of chances. After his back-to-back home hat-tricks he went thirteen games without scoring, and during this time he often looked anonymous. Partly down to the football we were playing, but if we are going to play this style of football then it suits somebody with presence, HRK and Pog, far more than it does ALF. On the other hand, if we don't have a finisher on the pitch, where are the goals going to come from? Pog got a handful, but his conversion rate of around 18% is far less clinical than Le Fondre.

Obviously the fans love him, for what he's done for the club, and a sale like this has the potential to disillusion a lot of people. Thankfully, if it does go through - and it sounds like it has - then we have the whole summer to replace him, hopefully with the funds becoming available from the takeover. I just wonder whether, for the reported £1m, it's sensible to let such a player go. I'd much rather have sold McCarthy, where we have good, proven back-up in Federici but obviously nobody knows whether that was even an option with the pressing HMRC deadline.

To many people his attitude towards the club means that he won't be particularly missed, but let's just hope we don't play Cardiff during January.


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