Under Marcelo Bielsa Leeds have become one of the best attacking sides in the Championship but also one of the favourites to gain promotion.
The Argentinian has turned the Whites into a high press, high tempo side that for much of the early part of the season has blown teams away. Despite being held to a 0-0 draw by fellow promotion contenders, Middlesbrough, Leeds have been superb this season.
Samu Saiz and Kemar Roofe have been rejuvenated under Bielsa’s management and seem different players this season. Impressively, Leeds have only made one addition to the starting XI in Barry Douglas and so far he’s proven to be the best left-back in the Championship.
Signed for £3 million from Wolves, it was a surprise to see the fullback join the club after having such a superb season last year. With the arrival of Jonny at Molineux, however, Douglas’ place became uncertain which allowed Leeds to make a shrewd piece of business.
The 28-year-old was an ever-present for Wolves last season as he helped the club to promotion to the Premier League and has so far started every game for Bielsa in the league.
Like all modern fullbacks, Douglas has the energy and legs to burst forward in attack and has already shown that he is going to contribute heavily to Leeds’ build up this season as he has already registered two assists. Last season, he created 14 goals to go along with five assists although he did play further forward – which could prove to be handy for Leeds as the season progresses.
A testament to his quality, it didn’t take long for the Scot to bed into the team. Moreover, he has already formed a good partnership with left winger Egjan Alioski. Douglas isn’t just a full-back who bombs on, he’s also pretty solid at the back. In Bielsa’s system., the fullbacks need to be able to push forward but also recover quickly and Douglas certainly fits the bill in that department.
Internationally, Douglas is unlucky to be playing in a time where Andrew Robertson and Kieran Tierney are also playing. His performances over last season and this have shown how good he is.
At 29, Douglas is in his prime and should be a key part to Leeds’ promotion push. In the long-term, Leeds might have to elsewhere but for now they’ve got a Premier League standard left-back who should take the club back to the top division.