Leeds United have bounced back from their previous two losses in the Premier League thanks to a 3-0 win over Southampton. The evening clash at Elland Road saw Marcelo Bielsa set up rather differently to his usual unwavering formation.
As highlighted by Sofascore, the Argentine opted for a 3-3-3-1 formation, which is very surprising considering he rarely strays away from his 4-1-4-1 staple. This saw a back three of Diego Llorente, Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk protecting the goal.
Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas played further forward, operating more in the midfield, whilst an attacking three were deployed to aid Patrick Bamford who led the line.
However, this formation clearly didn’t suit one player, who was hauled off in place of Helder Costa after the restart.
Jack Harrison hugely struggled to get into the swing of things at Elland Road tonight. His usual pacy presence was extinguished by the Southampton defence, who kept him extremely quiet.
According to Sofascore, the £15,000 per week loanee managed just six passes in the 45 minutes he was on the pitch. This is lower than any other Leeds player who started the match and fewer than the amount of passes both goalkeepers put in. This is a huge step down from the 25 accurate passes he managed against Wolves, which the Whites lost 1-0.
Harrison also failed to complete any of the dribbles or crosses he attempted and registered no shots on target. This performance comes as a surprise for the man who is boasting the second highest goal tally at the club so far this season. He currently sits on six goals and four assists, behind only Bamford who’s way in front on 13 goals and five assists, as per BBC Sport.
He has been noticed by many professionals and pundits alike, with Paul Robinson recently lauding him as a player with “a lot of talent”.
Whilst this isn’t a performance to be worried about, it’s a strange blip on the radar for someone as consistent as Harrison. He will get a chance to rectify his sluggish display this evening when Leeds take on Aston Villa at the weekend.
In other news, Leeds run high risk of losing Raphinha the more he shines…