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…
Leeds United will have learnt a lot from their 4-0 win against Middlesbrough on Saturday.
The win was described by Phil Hay as Leeds’ best performance of the season, and while United will be desperate to replicate that showing every week, they will have also learnt something from watching their opposition.
Indeed, United have been linked with one of Middlesbrough’s defenders, but after this weekend’s demolition job the Whites may want to rethink their stance on signing Daniel Ayala.
Last month it was reported that Leeds were interested in signing the Spanish defender, but Saturday’s performance should have quickly extinguished any thoughts the Yorkshire club had of signing the former Liverpool man.
It wasn’t Ayala’s poor defensive performance that should have set alarm bells ringing in Victor Orta and Marcelo Bielsa’s heads.
If we’re being fair, defensively, Ayala isn’t terrible. He was a part of a Boro team that were promoted while conceding just 31 goals, but he isn’t good enough on the ball to play under Bielsa.
The Spaniard had a pass completion rate of just 71.4 per cent, meaning that over a quarter of his passes didn’t find the mark.
Compare that to Leeds’ three first-choice centre-backs this season who all have pass success rates of at least 83.2% and you can see exactly why he wouldn’t work in Bielsa’s system.
Leeds’ game is heavily based around having the ball as they average 59.9% possession this season, so adding someone who is so lax on the ball makes no sense.
Luckily, the people in charge of transfers were able to see Ayala’s poor performance with their own eyes, and if they have any sense about them they will move on from any ideas they had of signing the centre-back.
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