Leeds United missed an opportunity to go top of the table once again as they lost 2-1 away to Backburn Rovers. It was a kind of game which a club needs to win if they are looking to gain an automatic promotion spot as Rovers have been average at best as of now. Injuries and suspension to some players could be blamed for the loss, but United should have done enough to see out Rovers.
In the absence of individual key players, the remaining members of the team need to step up. However, one player who has been frustrating to watch for the Whites off late is Samuel Saiz. The attacking midfielder has been guilty of giving the ball away cheaply and making rash decisions in the final third. His weak shot taking skills from right positions have cost the Whites in the last month or so.
The 27-year-old works extremely hard on the pitch and is seen almost everywhere. However, often it seems that he is playing the game at 100mph even though he has time on his hand to pick out the right pass or have a go at goal. Sometimes he just keeps his head down and wanders with the ball on a lone run only to give the ball away to the opposition.
The Whites play one of the most eye-catching and attacking brands of football with all players attacking collectively. However, in the 13 Championship games so far, Saiz is yet to find the back of the net. A player who plays in such an advanced position in a team which enjoys so much possession and chances certainly should score more. He has contributed with two assists and probably a more clinical no.10 would have had better numbers than Saiz.
Reports earlier came out that Bielsa has identified three positions where he feels he needs cover and a centre-back, a winger and a striker was on the list. However, after such listless displays from Saiz, we believe an attacking midfielder should also be thought about in January. Maybe the Whites are counting on Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown to come to the party after or around Christmas, but it would be too harsh for us to expect the young midfielder to hit the ground running after such a long injury lay off.
Currently, one can say Saiz doesn’t even have a competition for his place as there aren’t too many or any creative midfielder at the club. Maybe someone like Jack Clarke can play that role, but he is just 17 and is finding his feet in the first team. Therefore it definitely makes sense for the Whites to go after a proper attacking midfielder in January.