Henry Winter: Leeds United weekend wonder Sam Greenwood should be at another club
Sam Greenwood should not currently be at Leeds United as he “really should have gone on loan somewhere” according to The Times’ Henry Winter.
The 20-year-old has struggled for game time this season and was bizarrely started in one of the two deep-lying midfield spots for the defeat at Fulham on 23 October.
But Jesse Marsch’s decision to introduce him off the bench against Bournemouth on Saturday turned the game on its head, as his goal and assist helped transform a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 victory, earning him the title of “weekend wonder” from Winter.
The renowned journalist wrote in The Times on Monday (7 October): “Sam Greenwood is only 20, still only 16 games into his career and really should have gone on loan somewhere, but given the chance he can make things happen.
“He replaced Marc Roca in the 54th minute and provided the adrenaline shot that Leeds United desperately required against Bournemouth.
“He scored one, created one and his confidence and energy in the final third invigorated his team-mates, inspiring their remarkable comeback.
“His head coach, Jesse Marsch, needs to discover his best position — probably attacking midfield — but at the very least he certainly brings improvement with his delivery at set pieces.”
Method in the madness?
Marsch’s use of the talented youngsters in West Yorkshire has been all over the place this season, but they rescued him at Elland Road on Saturday.
Joe Gelhardt was presumed to be at the head of the back coming into the season but has been lost in the rotation, while Greenwood was hailed as the quickest to pick up the American’s wishes when he arrived last season but had featured even less.
Aside from over an hour as defensive midfielder at Craven Cottage he had been given a grand total 28 minutes in the Premier League before his crucial cameo at the weekend.
Marsch’s recent focus on Crysencio Summerville has been rewarded in a big way with dramatic late winners in consecutive games.
But Greenwood and Wilfried Gnonto both played big parts in the turnaround against the Cherries and are likely pushing for greater involvement themselves.
Fans will be delighted that Greenwood was available from the bench for this win rather than being away on a temporary move, and will hope that his involvement increases after the influence he had.
It has been proven now that the quartet of aforementioned attacking youngsters can have a big say, so the approach to how they are deployed needs to become less scattergun.
Based on his previous usage, a loan move would have been better for Greenwood so far, but it now looks like Gelhardt is perhaps the most likely candidate for one in January.