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Leeds are continuing to miss Chris Wood in more ways than one

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

Just imagine what Chris Wood could do in a Marcelo Bielsa team.

The Whites play like a Premier League-ready team in transition but once they get the ball in and around the penalty area, they struggle to actually find the back of the net.

Leeds have managed the highest number of shots per game at 17.8 this term but only sit ninth in terms of goals scored.

They may be second in the league but it’s something that should serve as a cause for concern.

Patrick Bamford has worked hard and pleased supporters on Tuesday even despite going a fifth game without a goal. But his inability to find the net regularly from 3.6 shots on average each match isn’t too impressive.

Over the summer, they let their top scorer leave. 15-goal Kemar Roofe walked out of Elland Road and consequently, a huge void has been left.

It’s yet to be filled despite Eddie Nketiah netting four times but it does have you wondering what Wood might have been able to achieve.

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In 2016/17, he was immense, as the striker found the net 27 times in 44 games. A player of that goal scoring calibre in the Championship is clearly something they miss but let’s forget about his goals for a moment.

Leeds’ other lingering issue this season has been conceding from set-pieces. Indeed it was a problem Bielsa admitted they had last term too.

The west Yorkshire outfit have conceded a whopping 60% of their goals from set-plays in 2019/20 and it’s been a regular cause for concern with sloppy errors creeping in during these types of scenarios.

This season a lack of height has been in evidence. Ben White has been brilliant and won the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month for August but he is only 6 foot 1. That’s hardly a like-for-like replacement for someone such as 6 foot 4 Pontus Jansson.

He has left another big void behind like Roofe and a lack of physical players in the box could be attributed to their ability to concede regularly from corners.

At 6 foot 1, Bamford isn’t a large existence in the penalty area, particularly when defending. However, Wood acted as an extra body when defending and his added aerial abilities would now surely help shore things up.

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In his final full season at Leeds before he left for Burnley in 2017/18, the £16.2m-rated forward managed to win 3.3 aerial duels and in the campaign prior to that, it stood at 3.7.

Leeds now no longer have an attacking player like that to help them in either penalty area. In fact, only Liam Cooper in the current squad is above winning three aerial duels per outing.

Wood didn’t just bring Leeds goals, but he was a useful and extra man that Bielsa could now deal with when defending set-pieces.

Who should start up top?





Article title: Leeds are continuing to miss Chris Wood in more ways than one

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