By Dan Carter

25th Oct, 2023 | 2:10pm

Joel Piroe observes Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to adapt to new Leeds United role

Joel Piroe has admitted that he has been looking at the relationship between Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to adapt to his new role at Leeds United.

The Dutch forward joined the ranks at Elland Road from Swansea City this summer in a deal reported to cost the Whites £12million [Wales Online] and has hit the ground running with his new side, scoring five times in nine starts for Daniel Farke’s side.

Most expected Piroe to play as Leeds’ main number nine, as he had done in South Wales, but Farke has instead opted to play the 24-year-old just behind Georginio Rutter in a move that has faced some criticism from fans and pundits alike, but the forward has enjoyed his new role.

Speaking to Sky Sports (25 October) he said: “I think this might be my best position, the team is set up so we’re playing as two strikers who swap roles every now and again, and I think it brings the best out of both of us. I think we’ll only get better as well.

“I love to watch big Premier League and Champions League games, and I like to see how Haaland and Alvarez work. There are some similarities. You see the runs Haaland makes, that’s something we can add to our game. It’s about making sure we have all the positions covered, so we can be even more effective than we are now.

“I also like to watch guys who play in a deeper role like Martin Odegaard at Arsenal. It is good to analyse and see what they do in their positions as more of a second striker, to see when you want to be a midfielder, and when to play like a striker at the right moments.”

Some standard

Piroe and Rutter have excelled playing alongside so far this season and calls for the Dutchman to be deployed as an out-and-out forward have died down in recent weeks as he has shown that he is more than capable of playing excellently in that position.

How the two combine and interchange is excellent to watch and must be horrible to attempt to defend against and while it may not yet be at the standard of Haaland and Alvarez, there aren’t many role models to try and match.

Interestingly, the 24-year-old views his role as more of a midfielder than an out-and-out forward, as he looks to the likes of Odegaard as an example, yet Piroe is still scoring goals regularly much more akin to a centre-forward than an attacking midfielder.

Keeping Piroe and Rutter fit and firing will be crucial to any success that Leeds United experience this season and if they can get anywhere near the standards of the Manchester City duo (albeit at a lower level) they will have the firepower to send the Whites back to the Premier League.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has reported that Farke has implied that Archie Gray will once again start for the Whites v Stoke