Leeds full-back Barry Douglas proved in the 2-1 win over Wigan on Saturday that he should at least be in the conversation for the best Championship signing of the 2018 summer transfer window.
The Whites went to the top of the Championship table with the away win at the DW Stadium, but the three points were certainly not handed on a silver platter to Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Wigan’s on-loan Chelsea full-back Reece James put the home side ahead after just six minutes with a well-placed free-kick, before Pablo Hernandez turned in Mateusz Klich’s pull-back to level the scores three minutes later.
Bielsa’s side were then frustrated by Wigan until the first minute of the second-half when goalkeeper Christian Walton’s error allowed Kemar Roofe to tap-in from close range.
Douglas though was the stand-out performer at left wing-back – the position in which he played last season as Wolves stormed to the Championship title with 99 points.
It was a surprise then that Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo allowed the 29-year-old to leave Molineux in the summer, but Leeds fans won’t be complaining about the deal whatever the undisclosed fee may have been.
Against Wigan, Douglas was heavily involved in Leeds’ forward play and had 88 touches of the ball as he offered width on the left-hand side. This was reflected in the six crosses and two key passes that he played, creating chances for the forward players and proving why it is so important for Bielsa to have that kind of quality in his side as well as hard-workers if they are to achieve promotion this season.
Douglas though brings the best of both worlds and is both a quality wide player as well as a hard-worker. His efforts in defence were just as impressive as going forward against Wigan, where he made four tackles and won four aerial duels.
There was plenty of money spent in the summer’s transfer window by Championship clubs, but Douglas has to be considered as one of the best buys after his start to the season.