By Daniel Lewis

16th Sep, 2023 | 2:10pm

Ross McCormack urges Leeds United manager Daniel Farke to play Joel Piroe in favoured position

Ross McCormack has urged Leeds United manager Daniel Farke to use big-money signing Joel Piroe in his favoured position.

Piroe, who joined from Swansea City in a deal worth in excess of £10million, made a scoring debut for Leeds in the 4-3 win over Ipswich Town.

However, he was used in a deeper attacking midfield role last time out, just off Georginio Rutter, and struggled to make an impact in the 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

Former Leeds striker McCormack, still a regular at Elland Road, believes Farke must cut that experiment short.

“I just feel, after watching the last home game when Piroe was behind Rutter, if anything I’d like to see it the other way around,” he told West Yorkshire Sport Daily [15 September, 9m 11s].

“At the end of the day, Piroe has come in for a lot of money and he’s going to be judged on his goals. From personal experience, it’s similar to what happened to me at Aston Villa.

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“I went there as a number nine, joined for a lot of money and started playing as a number 10 – it’s a different position. When you join the club, the fans are expecting you to score 20-25 goals.

“That’s the case for Piroe – he needs the opportunity to bed in, get some goals, get his feet under the table, and then if you want to tinker with it, that’s what I’d be looking to do.

“A massive club like Leeds United, being the main man up top, what else could you want?”

Selection headache

McCormack went on to add that he expects Piroe to score “a bag load” for Leeds if played to his strengths, and it is hard to disagree with that evaluation.

After all, this is a player who scored 22 and 19 goals respectively in the past two seasons for Swansea City at this level.

No disrespect to Swansea, but Leeds’ attacking midfielders are of a higher calibre to any they possess, thus meaning better quality to feed Piroe.

The only issue with playing Piroe up top is that it means Farke then has to accommodate Rutter – himself a £35.5m signing in January – elsewhere.

Throw the likes of Willy Gnonto, Crysencio Summerville, the returning Daniel James and others into the mix, and it is fair to say Farke has a selection headache of sorts.

Find the perfect formula in terms of that front four, though, and Leeds are onto a winner.

In other Leeds United news, Weston McKennie has shared a “second best” verdict on the atmosphere at Elland Road.