Leeds United have a “problem” with midfielder Weston McKennie at the moment, according to an update from journalist Dean Jones.
How is McKennie doing at Leeds?
The American made the move to Elland Road during the January transfer window, deciding to fight for a place as a standout star instead of staying put as a rotational player at Juventus. He was seen as an exciting signing at the time, given his pedigree and performances in the World Cup, but he hasn’t necessarily been a success so far.
McKennie has made 15 Premier League appearances for Leeds, but he hasn’t yet registered a single goal contribution for the Whites, not enjoying the influence in the middle of the park that many hoped for. He needs to up his game in the coming weeks, as the relegation battle reaches its conclusion.
There are numerous players not pulling their weight, with goals being conceded at an alarming rate game after game, but he has arguably been a standout poor performer.
Are Whites fans happy with McKennie?
Speaking to Give Me Sport, Jones said that McKennie has become something of a boo boy among Leeds fans, presenting an immediate problem upon Sam Allardyce’s arrival:
“When things aren’t going well, it seems like he’s not really somebody that rises to the challenge and that’s absolutely not what Leeds are going to settle for at the moment. I know a lot of the fans have got a problem with McKennie. Not personally, but as a player in the team at the moment. I think they’d rather he wasn’t there.”
In truth, this is a fair assessment of McKennie, with the 24-year-old someone who should be dragging Leeds through these must-win matches, instead of being ineffective in them. He arrived with the reputation of being a midfield battler, but that has been nowhere to be seen too often.
On this evidence, the Whites would be wise to steer clear of signing him permanently in the summer transfer window, and if they are relegated and he continues to play badly, he is a player who will forever be held in low regard by the fanbase. Now is the time for the 42-cap USA international to change their perception of him.
This is someone who is established footballer at both club and international level – he has made 96 appearances for one of Europe’s biggest club in Juventus, which is no mean feat, and been hailed as “excellent” by journalist Adam Pope – but there has been nowhere near enough quality and influence on show.