Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday supporters are eagerly anticipating the meeting between the two sides on Friday night, with both going into the clash off the back of contrasting recent results.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Whites currently sit top of the Championship table having won five and drawn three of their opening nine league games, although the Leeds chief will be hoping for a response from his side on Friday given they lost 2-1 to Birmingham City in their most recent league match.
And things are going reasonably well for Jos Luhukay’s Owls as well given they have won four of their last six games to sit ninth in the division, with their recent 2-1 success at Aston Villa indicative of their growing momentum and confidence, which makes for an intriguing encounter at Hillsborough on Friday.
Yet both teams will also be hoping to improve as the season wears on given the signings they made during the summer, with the likes of Lewis Baker and Izzy Brown making the move to Elland Road, while Josh Onomah and Michael Hector dropped down from the Premier League to join Luhukay’s Wednesday.
And it’s the additions of messrs Brown and Hector, both of whom have joined their respective clubs on loan from Premier League giants Chelsea, which are of particular interest, so let’s take a look at how the two compare…
21-year-old Brown has pedigree at Championship level after helping Huddersfield Town win promotion to the top-flight back in 2017, before joining Premier League side Brighton on loan for the entirety of the 2017/18 season.
Yet the former England Under-20 international suffered a cruciate ligament injury back in January of this year and has since spent the whole time out on the sidelines, although it didn’t stop Leeds taking a punt on the attacker by luring him to Elland Road on loan for the season.
And while he hasn’t featured for the Whites yet, and doesn’t look likely to anytime soon, manager Bielsa will be hoping that Brown can make a big difference to his side in the second half of the season, and having netted four goals in 15 Championship games for Huddersfield in the 2016/17 campaign, he’s clearly got the ability to do so.
However, with the season progressing and it seemingly unlikely that the 21-year-old will feature for Leeds before the New Year, Bielsa and the club’s hierarchy will be sincerely hoping that he can hit the ground running so that their gamble pays off.
TT Verdict: B
Centre back Hector made the move to Chelsea back in 2015 after impressing at Championship side Reading, although like many young players at Stamford Bridge, he has failed to make a senior appearance for the Blues.
A loan spell at Hull City helped him finally get regular football last term, and Luhukay’s Wednesday have given him that opportunity once again in luring him to Hillsborough for the entirety of the 2018/19 season.
And based on his first few appearances, it could turn out to be a very shrewd move indeed, as the 26-year-old came on late against Stoke City earlier this month before playing the full 90 minutes in their win at Villa on Saturday, in which time he underlined his versatility in fulfilling roles at both centre back and in the middle of the park.
And having had success there on Saturday, alongside Championship experience at both Hull and Reading, Hector could prove to be a very important member of the squad at Hillsborough this season, with few players as versatile yet still retaining the quality like the 26-year-old.
TT Verdict: B+
Clearly, both of these Chelsea outcasts have made the move down to the Championship in a bid for the regular football they simply aren’t going to get at Stamford Bridge, with the duo embarking on at least their fourth temporary spell away from the West London outfit.
And while 26-year-old Hector appears to have found his level in the second tier in recent times, Brown was enjoying his football at Brighton prior to suffering a cruciate ligament injury in January, yet that hasn’t stopped Leeds taking a punt on the 21-year-old.
However, he still hasn’t fully recovered from that injury and as such doesn’t look like appearing for the Whites until the New Year, and having played no football at all since the start of the year, it remains to be seen how quickly he can get up to speed, and thus what impact he can have at Elland Road.
Thus, Leeds have taken a big gamble signing the attacker, and as such could well be overshadowed by Wednesday’s shrewd move for fellow Chelsea star Hector.
Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday fans… what do you think? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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