By Daniel Lewis

12th Sep, 2023 | 6:10pm

Leeds United boss Daniel Farke in safe hands with Ethan Ampadu and Joe Rodon

Leeds United manager Daniel Farke will no doubt be watching this week’s international fixtures through his fingers in the hope each of his jet-setting players return to Thorp Arch injury free.

Any injury setbacks will become a little clearer as we approach the trip to Millwall on Sunday [17 September], but two players certainly returning on a high are Ethan Ampadu and Joe Rodon.

The Wales pair impressed in their side’s 2-0 Euro 2024 qualifying victory in Latvia on Monday [11 September], helping to keep the Dragons’ automatic qualifying hopes just about intact.

Rodon has now played his part in successive clean sheets for Wales, having also featured for the full 90 minutes in last week’s 0-0 friendly draw with South Korea.

As Wales Online put it in their player ratings piece [11 September], Rodon was “good aerially and spread the ball well, linking up with the wing-backs and midfielders.”

Described as a “crucial cog” in Wales’ back three, Tottenham Hotspur loanee Rodon should return full of confidence in time for the trip to The Den as United themselves look to make it back-to-back clean sheets.

Even more impressive than rock-solid Rodon was Leeds colleague Ampadu in holding midfield.

The 21-year-old was named Wales Online‘s star performer with a 9/10 rating after leading the way in a number of metrics.

No player intercepted the ball (two) more times, made more ball recoveries (11) or made more accurate long passes (five) than the talented midfielder [WhoScored].

One statistic beyond those stood out, though. Ampadu had four shots, which only the wasteful Brennan Johnson (five) could better of any player on the field.

To put that into some context, Ampadu has had just four shots across five Championship appearances for Leeds this season [FBref].

Adding the occasional goal to his game is the next step in the youngster’s development, having never previously found the net at senior level.

While he may not have scored in Riga, it certainly seems like a positive development as he adds more of an attacking edge to his game.

In other Leeds United news, a manager in talks over taking charge at Elland Road earlier this year has taken on a surprising new job role.