Leeds United supporters have been pretty satisfied during the international break after seeing their side make a very promising start to the new Championship season.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men have lost just one of their opening 12 league games to sit third in the table at the second two-week break for internationals of the campaign, although they won just one of their four matches prior to the fortnight interruption. The Whites suffered their one and only loss so far against Birmingham City back on September 22 before drawing at Sheffield Wednesday a week later, and while they beat Hull City at the start of October, they could only muster a 1-1 draw with Brentford in their final match before the international break.
Nonetheless, there have been many satisfied Leeds fans up and down the country in recent times given their side’s solid start to the campaign, with many praising the club’s hierarchy for the business they did during the summer to help bolster Bielsa’s squad.
And one man who has been an absolute revelation is left back Barry Douglas, whom they lured away from Wolves during the close season, what with that area of the squad somewhat lacking in quality and depth following the departure of Charlie Taylor to Burnley back in the summer of 2017.
The Whites earned £5 million compensation (as per The Daily Mail) for the defender’s departure given he was out of contract but under the age of 24, and while they struggled to immediately replace Taylor last term, they certainly have this time round in Douglas.
Ultimately, 25-year-old Taylor came up through the ranks at Elland Road and went on to make 104 senior appearances for the Yorkshire giants, the vast majority of which coming in his last three seasons at the club in becoming their first-choice left back.
And with four assists in 29 Championship matches in the 2016/17 campaign, and seven assists the season before, Leeds knew that they would have to find a very adept replacement for Taylor following his move to Burnley, but struggled somewhat to do that last term with the likes of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Laurens de Bock failing to meet expectations.
Thus, it was pretty clear that new man Bielsa needed to address the void left by Taylor’s departure, and he did just that by luring Douglas away from newly-promoted Wolves during the summer.
And what a decision that has proven to be given the 29-year-old has started all but one of their 12 Championship games this term and has contributed three assists in that time, showing the sort of dynamism needed from the modern-day full back in attack but also adeptness in the defensive third of the pitch.
In fact, many have since viewed Leeds’ acquisition of the one-time Scotland international as a huge coup and one that will stand them in good stead in their bid to win promotion – a signing they surely wouldn’t have made were Taylor to have remained at the club last summer.
As such, in Taylor leaving the club back in 2017 for £5 million, in turn earning Leeds £5 million profit given he came up through the ranks, alongside their struggles at left back last term, the Whites were prompted into plugging that gap this summer, and they have done just that in pulling off a transfer masterstroke by luring Douglas to Elland Road.
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