Friday, September 29, 2023

Rodrigo Gets The Nod | Strongest Leeds United Lineup Judging By Performances This Season

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

With the ongoing international break, it is perhaps an ideal time to evaluate the performances of the Premier League clubs so far this season, following four weeks of exciting action in the English top-flight.

Leeds United have been undoubtedly one of the more exciting teams in the league so far, enjoying a promising start under Marcelo Bielsa. And here, at The 4th Official, we will take a look at the strongest possible Leeds United lineup judging by player performances so far this season.

Strongest Leeds United Lineup Judging By Performances


Not many options to choose from in the defensive department since Leeds United have mainly invested in attackers this summer. They did, however, bring in Robin Koch and Diego Llorente, though the latter is ineligible for this lineup as he is yet to make his club debut.

Koch, though, is a no-brainer in central defence, alongside the highly experienced club captain Liam Cooper. It will be interesting to see how Llorente fits into the side when club football resumes next weekend.

Marcelo Bielsa doesn’t have any good alternative to Luke Ayling, so he is an automatic pick at right-back. The same applies for Stuart Dallas, especially with Barry Douglas struggling to thrive at Elland Road.

In goal, there cannot be any doubt that Illan Meslier should get the nod ahead of Kiko Casilla.

Strongest Leeds United Lineup Judging By Performances - Defence is solid.
Leeds United’s French goalkeeper Illan Meslier (L) is congratulated by Leeds United’s English defender Luke Ayling (R) on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Leeds United at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on September 27, 2020. – Leeds won the game 1-0. (Photo by MOLLY DARLINGTON / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)


In midfield, Pablo Hernandez’s injury means that Bielsa has two options in Tyler Roberts and Rodrigo Moreno, in that number ten role alongside Mateusz Klich.

Roberts certainly has a lot to improve if he is to make an impact in the Premier League. So we will go with Rodrigo, who is starting to acclimatise himself into the English game, notably scoring the equaliser in the draw with Manchester City.

Kalvin Phillips, meanwhile, is a guaranteed fit, in the number six role in Leeds United’s 4-1-4-1 formation. He has a consistent figure in the middle of the park this season.


Ian Poveda is giving Helder Costa a run for his money in recent weeks, thanks to some influential performances off the bench. However, the Portuguese remains the first-choice right-winger.

Jack Harrison faces no such competition from Ezgjan Alioski from the opposite flank. But, the arrival of Raphinha from Rennes means that the on-loan Man City needs to step up the gears in the coming matches.

Finally, Patrick Bamford is the undisputed starter in the number nine role, having exceeded all expectations this season with some clinical finishing. He has been one of the rising stars in the Premier League this season.

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