Just two points separated the teams at the wrong end of the Premier League table before kick-off and the visitors came from behind to cancel out Wilfried Gnonto’s opener before Rodrigo snatched a draw with a composed finish to notch his 10th goal of the season.
There were plenty of positives to take from the game, though manager Jesse Marsch will be concerned by the performance of £25m summer signing Brenden Aaronson as he once again looked off the pace.
In what was his 17th start of the campaign, the American attacking midfielder struggled to provide a goal contribution, making it only one goal and two assists since swapping RB Salzburg for west Yorkshire.
Marsch’s key man was overshadowed by teenage talent Wilfried Gnonto if anything, whilst Jack Harrison came off the bench to provide the all-important assist for the Spaniard’s equaliser.
Indeed, Aaronson managed only 30 touches of the ball before he was hooked by his compatriot in the 63rd minute for the aforementioned winger. It meant that even goalkeeper Illan Meslier (41) had more touches.
With what little involvement the 22-year-old had in the game, it was his wayward backpass that actually put the Hammers in front, with Gianluca Scammaca capitalising on such a woeful blunder just one minute after the break.
Aaronson also had just one shot, which was blasted miles off target, whilst he lost possession an eye-watering 11 times – meaning he gifted the ball back to the visitors once every 2.7 touches, via Sofascore.
Just as LeedsLive journalist Will Jackson described it, the USMNT international “struggled” once again. It’s been a long time since he’s looked anything like a player worth £25m and that has to be worrying news as he’s looking more and more like a flop right now.
Fellow reporter Beren Cross also slammed Aaronson’s display in his post-match ratings column, where he wrote: ‘A poor night for the American on the back of a run of form which is slowly looking concerning. Dribbles came to nothing, passes were off the mark and lacking threat.’
The “sloppy” star – in the words of Jay Bothroyd on Sky Sports News [4 January, 08:51pm] – will be lucky to keep his place in the starting lineup when the Whites travel to Cardiff City in the FA Cup at the weekend.
He has long been off the boil and it’s time for Marsch to take the dwindling flop out of the firing line.
AND in other news, Leeds suffer fresh Patrick Bamford setback…