Leeds United picked up a rare 2018 win in the Championship yesterday, defeating relegation-threatened Barnsley 2-1 at Elland Road. A first senior goal from Tom Pearce gave Leeds the lead before youngster Paudie O’Connor put the ball in his own net to level the scores. But Ezgjan Alioski finished from close range after Kemar Roofe’s excellent run to give Leeds the win they deserved against the Tykes.
For Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom it was obviously a very important game. Barnsley, of course, was his last club and so defeat would have made him look a fool for jumping ship to West Yorkshire.
His Barnsley past has also seen him linked with plenty of the players in red, so Leeds fans got a chance to see them in action.
Oli McBurnie and Tom Bradshaw have both been linked with moves to Elland Road recently, as has defender Andy Yiadom.
The Ghanaian full-back is out of contract in the summer and, as reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post last month, Leeds are set to offer him a deal at Elland Road.
The versatile 26-year-old, who can play as a full-back or winger on either side of the pitch, looks to be a good recruit for Leeds on paper.
Leeds have had issues at the back this season, with injuries, suspensions and poor form all impacting the likes of Gaetano Berardi, Laurens De Bock, Vurnon Anita and Luke Ayling.
After excelling in the lower leagues with Barnet he has become a staple of the Barnsley defence. Such consistent form saw him pick up his first caps for the Ghanaian national team.
But based on his performance yesterday, fans were not overly impressed with the idea of him becoming a Leeds player.
In the second-half he struggled to deal with Leeds attacker Roofe, who had one of his best games in a Leeds shirt for some time. It was his mistake that allowed Roofe to power into the box and lay on Leeds’ winning goal for Macedonian attacker Alioski.
Yiadom did not have a particularly poor game but Leeds fans are just hoping for a little more than a player who has battled relegation his entire Championship career.
If Leeds are going to fight for promotion, the feeling is that more illustrious options should be considered by the Elland Road management.
Here is some of the best fan reaction to Yiadom’s display against Leeds United…
Only 20 mins but if #LUFC interested in yiadom and mcburnie based on what I’ve seen let’s get a proper a coach and pass they are very poor
— Leeds Fan in Chicago (@ChicagoWhite) April 21, 2018
Yiadom though, no thanks. #lufc
— Craig Reeves (@vivareeves) April 21, 2018
— Mark Philmore (@IdlePastimes) April 21, 2018
Yiadom was awful today and he was playing in his best postirion
— Aaron (@AaronLUFC__) April 21, 2018
3pts but another inept performance against a poor team. If we’re really after players like Yiadom and Mcburnie we’re going nowhere #lufc
— markcally (@markcally8) April 21, 2018
Watching 3 players from BFC who have been linked with LUFC. #lufc Bradshaw. No thanks. McBurnie, yes please. Yiadom ‘doubts it’.
— Dr.T (@DoctorT1992) April 21, 2018
Pmsl …Yiadom really was below average yesterday . Marriott untested at this level just as roofe was .
— wayne mace (@lufc_macey61) April 22, 2018
Wolves signing Miguel Veloso would reunite him with long-time partner Joao Moutinho
The Portuguese pair formed a formidable partnership for both club and country and could potentially do similar at Wolves.
Wolves are being linked with a move for free agent midfielder Miguel Veloso. TEAMtalk are suggesting that the newly-promoted side are looking to add the 56-cap Portugal international to their fold this week. He is a free agent having left Genoa and Everton are reportedly also keen.
It would be an interesting signing for Wolves and one which, on paper, certainly makes sense. Veloso is represented by the Jorge Mendes ran Gestifute company. He is also a player with an illustrious record, winning titles with Sporting and Dynamo Kiev.
At Sporting he was considered one of Portugal’s most promising young talents. He was not alone in that respect. He came through to the first-team picture in Lisbon at the same time as another central midfielder, one Wolves fans will know very well.
Both Veloso and Joao Moutinho came through at Sporting in 2005. The pair went on to form a formidable partnership in the heart of Sporting’s midfield for the next five years. In 2010, both men left. Veloso headed to Kiev, whilst Moutinho made a controversial switch to Porto.
Moutinho went on to establish a reputation as one of the more consistent central midfielders in Europe.
So this summer, when Wolves signed him for a bargain fee of just £5 million, it was an eye-catching piece of business.
If they could also secure Veloso, the pair might be able to rekindle some of their old magic at Molineux.
Bielsa’s Engine Room: Kalvin Phillips continues to thrive in new Leeds role
The 22-year-old came through the Elland Road academy system.
After Marco Bielsa’s Leeds United continued their impressing winning start to the season this weekend, recording a 2-1 victory over Rotherham, several players are being highlighted for praise.
Among those who deserve the majority share of the plaudits is 22-year-old Kalvin Phillips, who continues to thrive in the playing style implemented by the club’s new boss.
A player capable of keeping it simple at the base of the midfield, Phillips has proven to be astute defensively and comfortable in possession – key traits for a player to thrive in the Argentine’s system.
Against Rotherham on Saturday, he registered 112 touches, more than any other player on the pitch and a personal best for the club.
He also completed the most passes on the day (88), recorded more interceptions than anyone else (six) and created two chances, one of which went down as an assist.
Rotherham marked a third exceptional Championship performance of the season for the youngster, with his movement and distribution keeping the ball ticking over in central midfield.
The academy talent is proving himself to be a force in central midfield for the Whites, quickly establishing himself as the lynchpin of the Bielsa revolution at Elland Road.
If Phillips can maintain this level of performance he will be integral in the club’s promotion push throughout the remainder of the season.
One to Watch: Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish at his creative best vs Ipswich
The Villa youngster was exceptional again this weekend.
Jack Grealish again proved why he is Aston Villa’s most important player in their attempt to gain promotion back to the Premier League with an excellent performance in Villa’s 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town on Saturday.
The 22-year-old’s wonderful display was underpinned by the 28 passes he completed in the final third – which, according to WhoScored was more than any other player had managed in a single Championship game thus far this season.
Grealish also completed five key passes in the game, bringing his season total to 11 – more than any other player in the league other than Norwich’s Ben Marshall (also 11).
Furthermore, the Englishman completed five of his six dribbles in the game.
Steve Bruce spoke glowingly of Grealish this week on TalkSport.
“He’s arguably the best young player I’ve had in terms of ability. He can do something where he can lift you off your seat, he’s such a natural footballer and of course he’s grown up a bit,” the Aston Villa manager said.
“For me, he’s going to be a top, top player.”
It is hard not to agree with Bruce. Not only does it appear as though Grealish has matured greatly in the last 12 months, his performances since the turn of the year have been astounding – he has arguably been the division’s best player in that period.
His constant menacing against Ipswich was no different – he has started this season brightly.
If he can manage to help guide Villa to the Premier League, he may be there for the long-term.
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