Championship

Unsung Hero: Leeds United’s Leif Davis put in a fine stint with his performance against Stoke City

Unsung Hero: Leeds United’s Leif Davis put in a fine stint with his performance against Stoke City

Leeds United were dumped out of the second round of the Carabao Cup by Stoke City on Tuesday night via virtue of a penalty shoot-out.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side were heading into the game after convincingly beating the Potters away from home at the weekend in the Championship. However, things went far from what they would have initially planned for.

The Whites had a rather poor first-half that saw them head into the interval two goals down, but a spirited fightback led by Eddie Nketiah and Helder Costa ensured they would have the opportunity to progress from the spot (Sky Sports).

However, a missed kick from Jack Harrison meant Bielsa’s side would be playing no further part in the competition, leaving them to focus on the Championship until the FA Cup comes around.

Admittedly, it was a largely modified side from the one that picked up the three points on Saturday afternoon, with the Argentine having made eight changes from the weekend’s win and, perhaps, one of the individuals that came into the first-team picture deserved a little more recognition and praise for the performance he produced on the night.

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Leif Davis was one of those to have come into the team for the Carabao Cup tie and was a player that certainly looked to grow with confidence as the minutes ticked by.

The 19-year-old, who joined the club from Morecambe last summer, regained his place in the side after playing in the previous round against Salford City (Transfermarkt) and looked to play a crucial role in the final stages of the encounter, despite having a tough and, perhaps, nervy first 45 minutes.

Although predominantly a left-back, Davis was utilised as a centre-back alongside Kalvin Phillips in a 4-1-4-1 formation (Leeds Live) and got some rather modest player rating scores.

Leeds Live gave him a six, as they wrote: “As with Salford City two weeks earlier, Davis’s height and stature were no match for the experienced target man Sam Vokes, who eased to the near post for the second in the first half. Battled, but couldn’t match the threat of Vokes and Tom Ince. Stayed alive to prevent a late Vokes winner.”

Fan site Through It All Together gave him a seven, stating: “Struggled in the air against Vokes unsurprisingly, although he did cause Stoke problems from Leeds attacking set-pieces. Looked more comfortable in the second half when he had an actual centre-back alongside him, made a really good block at the far post to prevent Stoke getting a late winner. Put in a great cross for Helder Costa’s goal.”

However, perhaps, the statistical data collected by LUFCDATA would suggest he had a better game than they originally thought he had.

According to the Twitter account, Davis made the second-highest number of touches (101), made 72 successful passes, won the ball back for Leeds six times, made four clearances and two tackles. He also managed to block two shots on goal and grab himself an interception.

The teenager also showed he could be useful a little further up the pitch as well, as he had one shot on goal and also provided the assist for Costa’s late equaliser as he sent the tie to a penalty shoot-out.

Davis’ opportunities may be limited with the likes of Barry Douglas at left-back and Liam Cooper, Gaetano Berardi and Ben White options at centre-back for Bielsa, though the 19-year-old does appear to be heading in the right direction, which, surely, can only be a good thing for Leeds.

Leeds fans, what did you make of Davis’ performance against Stoke? Were you impressed with his contribution? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!

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