Leeds United are in desperate need of someone who isn’t afraid to put himself about and make things happen in the final third, and manager Jesse Marsch may well have exactly that in Sam Greenwood.
Whilst a respectable result against the Premier League‘s strongest defence, the Whites looked hopeless in attack once again as a 0-0 draw to Newcastle United last time out made it four games without a win across all competitions.
It means the Yorkshire giants are sitting just two points above the relegation zone and look every bit like facing another dogfight heading into the final half of the 2022/23 campaign.
Tonight they face a struggling West Ham United at Elland Road, so it’s certainly a golden chance to put another three points on the board but they’ll need to look far better in front of goal; the reintroduction of Greenwood might just do that.
Should Greenwood start vs West Ham?
With Rodrigo largely playing as the sole centre-forward at the moment and Luis Sinisterra out injured, Marsch has struggled to find a settled no.10 to play in the hole behind him.
Brenden Aaronson has featured there at times but may have now settled out on the right wing, whilst Jack Harrison looked absolutely lost in the position against the Magpies.
It’s a more natural role for the 20-year-old, though.
Greenwood provided an assist for Leeds’ only goal against defending champions Manchester City in their top-flight clash after Christmas and only two games before that, he came off the bench to score and assist in the 4-3 win over AFC Bournemouth.
Yet, he did not play a single minute at St James’ Park despite Leeds looking woeful in the attack.
The young dynamo – formerly of the renowned Hale End academy at Arsenal – has scored and provided hatfuls of goals for the Whites’ youth setup over the last few seasons and that has clearly caught the eye of the American and his predecessor, Marcelo Bielsa, who handed him his senior debut.
Once compared to ex-Gunners talisman Robin van Persie, the England U21 international could be exactly what Marsch needs to punish David Moyes’ perilous Hammers side in west Yorkshire tonight.
Not only is he naturally gifted, as perfectly described by TEAMtalk editor James Marshment: “He’s one of the few players in the game who are both left AND right footed. A very rare breed,” but the 20-year-old gem also has an immense ability from set-pieces, with Noel Whelan describing them as a “weapon” and “his forte” to Football Insider.
Meanwhile, when Marsch first arrived at Thorp Arch, he namechecked the promising talent as one of the few players to have adapted to his methods and demands on the training pitch the quickest, whilst in another interview, the 49-year-old dubbed him a “big talent” and a “hard-worker.”
Therefore, it makes sense to unleash Greenwood on their 17th-placed relegation rivals this evening and with the east London outfit only two points behind Leeds, the inclusion of the academy wonderkid could be what Marsch needs to spark a much-needed revival in the final third.
The versatile 5 foot 11 maestro can put cause the Irons all sorts of nightmares and wreak havoc tonight.
AND in other news, Orta could seal an “incredible” signing in Leeds move for “relentless” £35m “phenom”…