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Is Adam Forshaw the immediate fix for Leeds United?

Adam Forshaw could fix two of Marcelo Bielsa’s biggest issues at Leeds United right now.

The Yorkshire giants tasted another hammering defeat to a big side in the Premier League at the weekend, losing 4-2 to old rivals Manchester United to add to the list alongside Arsenal (4-1) and Manchester City (7-0) in recent months.

In fact, the Whites have leaked a whopping 28 goals since Kalvin Phillips fell to a hamstring injury against Brentford on December 5th.

Problem One: Kalvin Phillips

Indeed, Leeds have sorely missed the presence of their defensive lynchpin, who offers so much stability in front of the backline. They have not kept a single clean sheet in the nine games he has missed, conceding an average of 3.1 goals per game.

Shocking.

The England international isn’t expected to be back this week, with worrying fixtures against more top dogs in Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur on the horizon and that’s a big concern.

“It’s a big problem and something they’ve got to look at and try and improve, and possibly Phillips could be a part of that. You can’t keep conceding all these goals and expect to win games,” claimed ex-Villa star Alan Hutton to Football Insider this week.

Should Bielsa start Forshaw vs Liverpool?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

It’s easy to see why Leeds miss the 26-year-old so much as he averages 2.3 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per outing in the top-flight this season, via WhoScored. Only a few players better that rate and that’s only because they have played way more or way fewer games.

However, despite defeat in Sunday’s six-goal thriller, Forshaw put up remarkable numbers similar to that of Phillips.

He attempted the most tackles (ten) in the match and was successful in 50% of these, which also saw him top the charts in that regard, as per LeedsLive journalist Joe Donnohue.

Forshaw also registered two interceptions.

Problem Two: Final third play

Another one of the biggest issues facing Bielsa is his side’s influence in the attacking third – whilst they may leak plenty of goals, they aren’t scoring many either.

Hardly a surprise with Patrick Bamford joining his fellow countryman Phillips on the treatment table at Thorp Arch.

Only eight teams have scored fewer goals than Leeds this season, and only three of those are above them in the table.

Bamford has missed 18 league games after finishing as their top goalscorer on 17 goals last season.

Although, it’s not as if there is much creativity or drive in the final third as no player has registered more than two assists with Raphinha leading the way on two key chances created per game, via WhoScored.

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Leeds were beaten by Spurs in their first game of 2021 but what was the scoreline?

But again, this is where Forshaw could provide a solution as his relentless work rate and energy often sees him drive forward. Against United, he also led the statistics for pressures attempted (33) and successful pressures (16).

The majority (12) of those 33 attempts were in United’s half.

Forshaw is also capable of playing that diagonal long ball that Phillips is ever so good at, having averaged 2.1 successful attempts per league outing this campaign, which is only 1.4 behind the Three Lions star.

“Forshaw is a player who, when he has played, he is always between the better players of the team,” once claimed Bielsa. “He has a feature that is very difficult to get. He defends similar to Kalvin, he attacks similar to [Mateusz] Klich.”

Indeed, the former Boro star is the man capable of bringing the ball forward to help the Whites generate more goalscoring opportunities with his energy and evident ball-playing ability.

Therefore, the £60k-per-week machine could well hold the keys to solving two of Leeds’ biggest problems right now. He really ought to be the first name on the teamsheet at Anfield on Wednesday.

AND in other news, Fewer touches than Meslier: “Absolutely shocking” Leeds dud badly failed Bielsa vs Man Utd

Article title: Is Adam Forshaw the immediate fix for Leeds United?

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