Samuel Saiz had an eventful time at Leeds United in his brief time at Elland Road. The Spanish playmaker scored a hat-trick on his debut, received a six-game ban for spitting at an opponent and became a fan favourite for his mercurial style.
However, that was under Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom. Marcelo Bielsa’s arrival spelled the beginning of the end for Saiz as he struggled to adapt to the Argentine’s style of play.
Halfway through last season, he was sent back to Spain on a loan deal with Getafe. Last summer, he made a permanent switch to Girona (TeamTalk) in a deal reportedly worth £3.5 million.
Bielsa was a fan of Saiz, calling him the club’s ‘most skilled’ player in November 2018, as reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“I think Saiz is the most skilled player in our team and he has skills that few players have. I’m not talking about only our team. I’m talking about football in general…
“…Samu is very useful to our team. Either he plays 20 minutes, half-an-hour or the whole game. I have the obligation to take into account the whole team.”
However, Saiz did not work for the team and that led to his departure.
Plenty of Leeds fans have since lamented Saiz’s departure, believing he was an inventive and unpredictable playmaker who the club now lack.
But he has struggled for since leaving Leeds. Last weekend, he finally scored his first goal for his new club and spoke to L’Esportiu this week about the achievement. Saiz was asked whether he could now rediscover the form which once saw Leeds scramble for his signature.
“My goal is to give my best level. I do not look in the past. I know that if I reach my best version I will help my colleagues.
“When I’m fine, I enjoy the countryside, and this year I still haven’t really enjoyed it. The best thing about football is going out on the field and having fun playing it.”
Saiz is clearly not looking in the past but plenty of Leeds fans still do believe Saiz could have been an important player in this current set-up. Bielsa, however, felt differently and the results have, mostly, backed up the Argentine’s opinion.
However, there is no doubt someone with Saiz’s guile could have been a big help in the attacking third for the currently goal-shy Leeds.