Late this week, Town announced their third signing of the summer, Josh Koroma who joins from Leyton Orient on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
The 20-year-old forward is another player that has been on the radar of a number of Championship sides and Town has won the race for him.
Who is Josh Koroma?
Having been picked up by Leyton Orient as rough diamond, Josh Koroma progressed swiftly through Orient’s academy system.
At eighteen years of age, Koroma was offered a professional contract and in the same season, Kevin Nolan handed Koroma his senior debut in a defeat to Barnet.
Koroma only managed three senior appearances during the 2015-16 season. However, in the following season, he staked his claim and cemented his place in Orient’s starting line-up with a return of three goals in twenty-two appearances.
During a tumultuous period which saw Leyton Orient fall out of the Football League following a 112-year stay, Koroma was made to grow up quickly and mature in difficult circumstances.
In the following two seasons, Koroma began to show his true potential and learn what his best position was. Having mainly been deployed as a winger throughout his short professional career, Justin Edinburgh gave Koroma the opportunity to lead the line.
It proved to be an inspired decision, with the result being twenty-two goal contributions over the course of two seasons. It was a contribution which proved crucial as he helped fire Leyton Orient back into the Football League.
Koroma’s most recent season to date was, in fact, his most prolific as he scored eleven times as well as providing seven assists.
Still at the age of twenty, Koroma amassed just short of a hundred appearances for Leyton Orient.
The potential was clear for all to see and he began to attract attention from a number of Championship sides. It seemed almost inevitable that Koroma would depart this summer, with his last act as a Leyton Orient player being a promotion-winning contribution.
With the news emerging that Joshua Koroma was set to join Huddersfield Town, I spoke to Brendan Pitcher, an aspiring sports journalist and Leyton Orient fan, who offered us an excellent insight into Josh Koroma and what we can expect:
“Koroma is probably the most exciting player to come out of our youth academy since Moses Odubajo. Blessed with a good turn of pace and a surprising amount of strength for someone of his stature, he has the ability to get you off your seat with an exciting piece of skill or a snap-shot from out of nowhere.
However, at times his fierce determination to make things happen on his own can be misconstrued as selfishness, though I have no doubt that his decision making will improve as he gets older.
The 20 year old was played mostly on the wing in his early career but sometimes lacked the necessary work-rate for that role. I specifically remember one of our first games in The National League away at Bromley where I was situated within the vicinity of the dug-out and could hear Koroma getting slaughtered by our coaching staff for not tracking back to help his full back. He was subsequently hooked at half time.
It wasn’t until Justin Edinburgh arrived in December 2017 that Koroma really started to show the end product to go with the potential he quite clearly had. Edinburgh began to deploy him more centrally either in a ten role or as a strike partner to Macauley Bonne.
This switch quite clearly suited him as it allowed him to get on the ball more and express himself, without worrying too much about his defensive responsibilities.
By the start of last season, he was considered one of our key men and for good reason. In the late months of 2018, it seemed as if he was running his own goal of the season competition.
Search YouTube for his strikes against Fylde, Bromley and Chesterfield for proof. Koroma is capable of all sorts of goals whether it be tidy finishes after leaving defenders on the floor or powerful strikes from distance.
The caveat being however that all these goals were scored against National League defences. I would obviously be gutted if he leaves, as looks likely, but the rumoured £500k price tag is a lot of money for a club such as ours, especially for a player that has yet to play above non-league level.
If you asked me could Koroma make the step up to the Championship next season I wouldn’t be so sure. Though in time if his attitude stays as it was last season and he gets the right coaching I could certainly see him making a career for himself at that level”.
Will Josh Koroma be a success at Town?
On the radar of a number of Championship sides, Koroma has demonstrated that he has the potential and raw ability to grow and become a real asset for Jan Siewert to have at his disposal.
From the outset, Koroma appears to have all the makings of a complete forward and one that fits the modern mould of being as comfortable creating chances as he is converting them.
With explosive pace and tricky feet as well as fine technical ability, given the right coaching, Koroma has all the attributes needed to succeed at a higher level.
Building on a solid season in the National League, Koroma began to come into his own last season and he showed in a number of eye-catching displays that sometime in the future, he will be more than capable of playing at a higher level.
However, as Brendan has mentioned above, the drawback to these impressive performances is that they were in the National League and the gap between the National League and the Championship is an enormous chasm.
On the other hand, it should be said that Karlan Grant similarly had not had any success above League two level until last season, when he set League one alight and carried his excellent goal to game ratio into the Premier League.
For Koroma, he will look at Karlan Grant as a source of inspiration and proof that it is possible to make the step up from the lower leagues and perform at a higher level.
To do so, Koroma would need to be offered opportunities and one of the main reasons why Koroma may have opted to join Huddersfield Town over Championship rivals, Middlesbrough and Bristol City, is Jan Siewert.
With a strong reputation of developing young players at Borussia Dortmund II, Siewert may be an enticing head coach to work under for some of these bright young starlets looking to make their way up the Football League.
Siewert showed last season, even in the most difficult of circumstances, that he is willing to give young players opportunities and a run in the side – if he feels that they are good enough.
As well as Jan Siewert’s openness and inclusivity to give young players opportunities, Koroma also joins the club at a time where there is expected to be a lot of incomings and outgoings and with that, there will be chances to impress and to force himself into Siewert’s plans.
Whilst this signing is one with the future in mind, Jan Siewert’s comments indicate that Koroma is likely to be in and around Town’s first team squad and with that, opportunities will come.
Overall, the signing of Koroma seems to be another shrewd purchase. Joining for a modest fee of £500,000, it is yet another signing that on the face of it appears to be a low-risk acquisition and one which could prove to be an inspired buy.
The signing is also a broader indication of the refreshing approach being taken to this summer by Town.
Whereas we have seen recently relegated sides from the Premier League recklessly use their parachute payments in a desperate attempt to bounce straight back up, Town are building towards a bright future, one that Koroma will be a part of.