Can Jean-Kevin Augustin fire Leeds United to promotion? Yorkshire’s history suggests he can

What will Jean-Kevin Augustin, who is pictured greeting Leeds United fans upon his arrival at Elland Road on Tuesday night, be? (Picture Bruce Rollinson)
What will Jean-Kevin Augustin, who is pictured greeting Leeds United fans upon his arrival at Elland Road on Tuesday night, be? (Picture Bruce Rollinson)
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NEW Leeds United signing Jean-Kevin Augustin is unlikely to be familiar with the names of Izzy Brown, Uwe Fuchs, Gedo or Gaston Ramirez.

Or Lee Chapman for that matter.

Middlesbrough's Jordan Rhodes helped fire the club to promotion (Picture: PA)

Middlesbrough's Jordan Rhodes helped fire the club to promotion (Picture: PA)

Excluding Augustin – so far anyway – all of the above share something in common. As do several others besides including Jordan Rhodes and Collin Quaner.

They have all helped keep a promotion bandwagon on course after a few mid-season bumps, with the road to the Premier League rarely smooth as Yorkshire clubs can testify.

It will be the devout hope of all and sundry at Elland Road that their loanee from Leipzig carries on that proud tradition.

This was most famously manifested in United’s last successful second-tier promotion campaign of 1989-90 when Chapman announced himself in Whites colours with a debut league goal in the 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers in January.

The road to the Premier League rarely smooth as Yorkshire clubs can testify.

Leon Wobschall

The goal was the first of a dozen that he netted in Leeds’s charge to the Division Two title.

Several feted moments arrived against the likes of West Ham and Oxford United, not to mention the only goal on that balmy final-day in Bournemouth.

If Augustin can provide a few similarly memorable contributions, then no-one will be complaining.

Trump cards have been played in January by several of the county’s promoted sides of late, with Leeds’s West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town doing exactly that in 2016-17.

Hull City's Gedo, back in 2013, battles for the ball alongside Nottingham Forest's Danny Collins. (Picture: James Hardisty).

Hull City's Gedo, back in 2013, battles for the ball alongside Nottingham Forest's Danny Collins. (Picture: James Hardisty).

Izzy Brown’s time at Leeds was forgettable. His stay across the A62 was anything but.

After being recalled by Chelsea from a loan spell at Rotherham United, Brown was thrown into the furnace of a promotion fight with Huddersfield and hit the ground running.

Four key goals – including the strike which confirmed Town’s play-off participation following a 1-0 win at Wolves – arrived alongside several match-turning contributions and he left with the admiration of a fanbase.

The contribution of fellow January arrival Quaner may be less garlanded, but a crucial last-minute goal in a vital Easter win over Preston – before changing the course of their play-off semi-final second leg after coming on at Sheffield Wednesday in May 2017 – ensure his role will also be remembered.

Across at Hull, a cameo from Egyptian forward Gedo – who arrived on loan from Al-Ahly in January 2013 – also carried weight in the second half of a 2012-13 campaign which ended in promotion glory for Steve Bruce’s side.

He struck five goals in February and March, helping Hull to overcome a mini winter wobble in the process.

For Leeds, whose season has recently been showing signs of parallels with the Middlesbrough campaign of 2015-16, it is perhaps the experiences of Boro four years ago that may provoke their attention the most.

Like themselves, the Teessiders suffered a downturn in form early in the New Year, but the additions of a creative hub in Ramirez and a goalscorer in Rhodes managed to get Aitor Karanka’s side over the line.

For Ramirez and Rhodes, read Ian Poveda and Augustin?

So ineffectual in a loan spell at Hull in 2014-15, Ramirez struck seven goals and was widely cited as the talisman in the club’s return to the top-flight.

Rhodes’s time at Boro may have been far from spectacular. Yet his tally of six goals, including a vital stoppage-time equaliser at MK Dons and a critical late double in a dramatic win at Bolton proved key contributions in the club’s promotion campaign.

The ex-Huddersfield striker may have suffered the reverse in fortunes after arriving to instigate a charge to the top-flight at Sheffield Wednesday exactly a year on, but he can still point to a promotion to the big time on his CV.

Further back, the barnstorming input of a much-loved German striker called Fuchs in getting Boro’s 1994-95 promotion push back on the rails in the new year is also recalled with fondness.

The January arrival, signed on loan from Kaiserslautern, scored six goals in his first five starts – including a hat-trick against Bristol City – to help propel Boro back into the business positions and become an Ayresome Park cult hero in the process.

As for Augustin in the here and now, time will tell as to whether he proves the missing ingredient in propelling Leeds to a glorious finale. Amid the fanfare which followed his arrival, most older Leeds supporters will at least be grateful that he did not arrive in a Lotus.

Former England striker Rodney Marsh famously did that in March 1972 when he swapped QPR for Manchester City in a £200,000 deal, with co-manager Malcolm Allison convinced that he would drive the top-flight leaders to the Division One title as they entered the final bend.

It was a season which ended with City finishing fourth with the signing of Marsh – sanctioned against the wishes of Allison’s fellow boss Joe Mercer – backfiring somewhat.

Reassuringly as far as Yorkshire is concerned, the county’s record regarding key late-season signings is a rather more impressive one.