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Samuel Saiz has not proved to be the messiah for Leeds United

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Samuel Saiz has not proved to be the messiah for Leeds United

The Spaniard was billed as the second coming when he returned from suspension, but is now being left out of the Leeds United starting XI.

Back in mid-February Leeds United fans were hailing the upcoming return of one of their star players. Fans of the West Yorkshire side were hailing the upcoming return to action of Spanish playmaker Samuel Saiz with almost messiah like fervour.

The summer signing from SD Huesca had been Leeds’ standout player throughout the first half of the season. He then commited a despicable act, by spitting at an opponent in the FA Cup loss to Newport County and, rightly, received a six-game ban.

Newport County v Leeds United - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round

NEWPORT, WALES – JANUARY 07: Leeds player Samuel Saiz (21) is held back by team mates after being red carded during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Newport County and Leeds United at Rodney Parade on January 7, 2018 in Newport, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

During that period Thomas Christiansen got the sack and Leeds went on a winless run through the duration of Saiz’s ban.

Then he returned, risen, Leeds’ hero to lead them back on a play-off charge. He made an excellent cameo off the bench in the 2-2 draw with Derby County on his first game back before Leeds finally won again, for the first time since Boxing Day, in his next game. Saiz played nearly the full 90, before coming off in the final minute of added time to rapturous applause from his adoring fans.

However, Saiz has not dragged Leeds back into form.

The Whites have won just once in the eight games since that fixture. Saiz, despite the odd moment of brilliance, had not recaptured the form that saw him tearing through Championship defences earlier in the season.

(during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Leeds United at Craven Cottage on April 3, 2018 in London, England.

Much of that is down to the manager. Paul Heckingbottom appears reluctant to allow Saiz the freedom to cut loose, unlike his predecessor. Now, the Spanish wizard is struggling to start games with the unpopular Dutchman Jay-Roy Grot and returning Kemar Roofe preferred for last night’s loss at Preston North End.

Saiz, perhaps, only has himself to blame. His indiscretion v Newport was appalling and disrupted the rhythm of his season.

He has not proven to be the messiah that Leeds United fans hoped he would be. Hopefully next season he can start much as he did this term, but then continue to perform that way for an entire campaign.

Mathew Nash

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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