It looks set to be a competitive Championship season this year as multiple teams look like they’ll be contending for not only the playoff spots but also the top two automatic promotion positions too.
So far this season Leeds have led the way under Marcelo Bielsa’s brand of high-energy attacking football. The Argentine has seemingly transformed the team this season as the likes of Samu Saiz and Kemar Roofe have turned into better players under his management.
Impressively, Swansea are one of only three teams to take a point off the league leaders this season. The Swans held the Yorkshire club to a 2-2 draw thanks to a brace from frontman Oliver McBurnie.
With both sides possessing such potent strikers, let’s compare the two.
Despite finishing as the club’s top scorer last year with 11 goals in the league, Roofe hadn’t quite won over the fans before the start of this season. Since the beginning of this campaign however, the former West Brom man has been in superb form and is quickly turning himself into not only a complete all-round striker but also potentially the best forward in the league.
So far this year, he’s already scored four in the Championship while also setting up a further two in six games. Moreover, his ability to press from the front fits in perfectly with Bielsa’s style of football. Indeed, his natural finishing is looking akin to that of Leeds legend Mark Viduka.
After being named as the League Two ‘Player of the Year’ with Oxford, Roofe joined Leeds for a £3.15 million fee but didn’t exactly hit the ground running straight away and only scored four goals in 42 matches in his first season. Now, however it looks as though Leeds may have pulled off a bargain for a player that could not only go onto to be the League’s top scorer but also help fire them back into the Premier League.
TT Verdict: B+
Signed from Bradford City in 2015, after three loan spells most recently with Barnsley, Oliver McBurnie was given the starting role by Graham Potter and it’s proven to be a good call by the new manager. McBurnie has scored four goals for the Swans this season as they look to bounce straight back into the Premier League.
A surprisingly quick player, McBrunie can play on either wing and like Roofe, has the ability to not only score goals but also create them too. Last season with Barnsley the 22-year-old scored nine goals in 17 games and before that was a consistent goal scorer in the Premier League 2.
It’s still early to say how good a player he’ll turn out but the early signs of the forward look promising. He may not score the volume of goals they need to get promoted back into the Premier League but he looks like he could be a striker for the future.
TT Verdict: B-
While McBurnie looks like he could well turn out to be a good striker down the line, for now Roofe wins this one. His all-round ability to be a complete forward for Bielsa is just superb and so far the goals he’s scored and created have been of a high quality.
With him in the side Leeds look a quality team and he’ll definitely get some attention from Premier League clubs in the summer if helps Leeds back to the proverbial Promised Land at long last.
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