Leeds United supporters have been somewhat despondent in the Transfer Tavern in recent times given their team’s woeful run of form, which didn’t improve last weekend as they went down 3-1 to resurgent Brentford at Griffin Park.
Thomas Christiansen’s men were top of the Championship table back in September but have since seriously struggled to string together results, having lost six of their eight league matches prior to their trip to West London on Saturday. And things didn’t get any better for the Whites as late goals from Yoann Barbet and Ryan Woods helped seal a 3-1 victory for Dean Smith’s side, this all after Neal Maupay gave the Bees a first half lead only for Ezgjan Alioski to equalise for the visitors in the second period.
Thus, there has been a sombre mood among our resident Leeds fans in the Tavern this week, with many wondering exactly what has gone wrong for their side in their freefall to tenth place in the Championship.
However, one thing that hasn’t been lacking is goals this term, having scored 24 in their opening 16 league matches, but just who has been the club’s most creative player in the league so far this season?
Well, Pablo Hernandez was given a mention by some of our resident Whites supporters, but the overwhelming majority gave summer signing Samuel Saiz the nod.
The 26-year-old made the move from Huesca during the close season amid much anticipation from Leeds fans, and it’s fair to say that the diminutive Spaniard has not disappointed.
His tally of three assists sees him sit top of that list alongside Pierre Michel Lasogga and Eunan O’Kane, yet Saiz’s remarkable tally of 30 chances created blows the other two out of the water, and is 11 more than the next best Hernandez.
And although his compatriot has started two fewer games than himself, the 26-year-old still averages more key passes per game (2.3) than the former Swansea City man (1.7), while his minutes per contribution rate is also significantly more impressive than Hernandez’s, with Saiz averaging 165 minutes per goal or assist, while Hernandez averages 446 minutes (only Lasogga averages fewer minutes (101) in the entire squad).
And when one delves further into the statistics, it’s Saiz who comes out on top on a regular basis.
No one in the Leeds squad averages more dribbles per game than the Spaniard (1.6), with next best midfielder Hernandez with just 0.9, while Saiz is fouled on average more times than his teammates (2.6) – both of which underline that he is the one trying to make things happen for Leeds, and given his chances created tally, he more often than not does create something.
Ultimately, the Spaniard has been outstanding for the Whites so far this season, and one senses that he will have a big part to play in getting them out of their current rut when league action resumes next weekend.
Leeds fans… what do you think? Let us know!