Presenter Conor McGilligan has criticised Leeds United star Weston McKennie after an unimpressive start to life at Elland Road.
How has McKennie played for Leeds?
The USA international arrived on loan from Juventus in the January transfer window, as Leeds attempt to avoid relegation after a disappointing first half of the season.
Leeds recorded a much-needed victory in Javi Gracia’s first game in charge over relegation rivals Southampton. While McKennie didn’t play too badly, he did not offer enough on the ball to impress.
Speaking on the One Leeds Fan channel following the victory, McGilligan criticised McKennie’s lack of dynamism on the ball, claiming that he does not move the ball forward enough.
“McKennie, I’ll be honest, I’m not convinced. I’ve never been convinced on Weston McKennie,” he stated.
“I know he’s not been here long, but I think he struggles a little bit to get the ball on the back foot and move forward. I think he likes to pass the ball laterally and pass the ball backwards, he needs to get the ball and be a bit braver for me.”
Did his performance hinder Leeds?
McKennie made two key passes, recorded a pass accuracy of 91%, and completed 3/3 long balls as per SofaScore.
He was also solid defensively, making three tackles and winning three of his five attempted duels, and overall delivered a fine, but unspectacular performance as Leeds won and kept a clean sheet.
However, he ranks in the bottom 29% of midfielders for progressive passes, and the bottom 18% for passes attempted as per FBref, highlighting his limitations at helping move the ball further up the pitch.
Whilst he can provide a strong physical presence in the middle of the park, in this Leeds side, who have averaged the seventh-highest possession in the league this season, he will need to offer more on the ball to help start attacks.
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