Jesse Marsch’s side were 3-1 down inside the first 48 minutes, just one weekend after their shock win over Liverpool, but they launched a spirited response, culminating in Crysencio Summerville’s late 86th-minute winner at Elland Road.
The Whites’ drastic turnaround was primarily spearheaded by three players, two of whom came off the bench to make an instant impact.
Within six minutes of coming on, substitute Sam Greenwood lifted spirits with a deft 20-yard effort – his maiden senior strike for the club – before he provided the cross for skipper Liam Cooper to equalise.
Summerville then popped up with a composed finish way beyond his years and experience, slotting past the Cherries’ goalkeeper after being fed through by another substitute in Wilfried Gnonto, who replaced Jack Harrison at half-time.
The former Manchester City graduate, who cost the Yorkshire giants around £20m, has long been a favourite under the American head coach, having watched him in action during their time in the Major League Soccer in the past.
But now it appears as if Leeds are a far greater attacking prospect without him in the side. Indeed, the 25-year-old dynamo is on a barren run of ten games without a goal or an assist, despite starting in 90% of those outings, via Transfermarkt.
Marsch has seen just one victory this season when Harrison has played the full 90 minutes, whilst both of their recent match-winning goals – against Liverpool and now Bournemouth – have come when he’s succumbed to the bench – a rather telling sign.
Unlike past seasons, the £60k-per-week wide man has serious competition after the club’s recruitment team, led by director of football Victor Orta, signed Luis Sinisterra, a natural left-winger, whilst the emergence of Summerville has certainly caught the eye.
Fellow summer signing Brenden Aaronson is also capable of playing on the flank.
It wasn’t too long ago that Leeds were reportedly touting a £35m price tag over Harrison’s head amid interest from some Premier League rivals, such as Newcastle United, and one could argue that it’s potentially had an effect over his impact on the pitch.
But once again, he was woefully ineffective against the Cherries, managing to lose the ball once every 2.8 touches across his 45 minutes on the pitch. He also failed to shoot, made just one accurate cross from five attempts and only created one key pass, as per SofaScore. By comparison, his replacement – Gnonto – created triple his chances and delivered the same number of successful crosses.
It’s becoming abundantly clear that the Whites are just a greater team without Harrison – who journalist Jake Winderman dubbed “awful” back in February – in the starting XI now and that instead, the keys should be given to the senior Italy international.
That could well change after the World Cup but for the time being, Marsch must look to ditch his favourite for the greater good of the team.