It’s not often I get to dish out a rating of 10 in my player ratings articles but today is that day. It’s obvious who will get it and he deserves it. Leeds thumped Port Vale 4-1 despite ex-player Michael Tonge grabbing an equaliser just before the break. Leeds were brilliant during spells and it really does get you excited for the coming games and what they could bring, starting against Preston on Saturday, in front of a full house.
Felix Wiedwald – 6 – Wiedwald didn’t have much to do last night in all honesty. It was a case of staying alert and even then he didn’t have anything to do. what he did do was play out with the ball again, providing an option for players on the ball to go back to him if they needed. He rarely was. Steady 6.
Anita – 6 – Another who didn’t have too much to deal with in all honesty. He has a great engine on him but doesn’t seem like the type of full-back who will pile forward and get too many crosses into the box. He was playing with Hadi Sacko in front of him in all fairness and when Alioski was put on he got forward more. Did get turned inside out at start of second half but the striker could convert the cross.
Luke Ayling – 7 – Captain for the night and led the side. Did well defensively. I did think he was at fault for the goal until I watched it back at he wasn’t. Liked to take the ball over the halfway line and start moves off. Had a very good game on Sunday and backed it up again last night, although I was very surprised that he actually started the game.
Conor Shaughnessy – 6 – Wasn’t great at getting close to Vale’s number 15 in the first half although his hold up play was very good. Second half he attacked the ball more and for a youngster playing out of position was very assured. A good ball player and hopefully he will take this experience into his season in the development squad and continue to push for the first-team.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – 7 – A very good debut for the left back last night and I was very impressed with all aspects of his game. Not only did he bomb forward and get involved in some very slick attacking play he was solid at the back, and played at centre back for the last 20 minutes, something he looked very calm and composed in doing. Good start.
Mateusz Klich – 7 – Klich showed a very calming and clever footballing ability on the ball and a bullish one-off it. For a player who has played around 70 minutes all of pre-season he did very well and linked up with Ronaldo Vieira like they had been playing together for years. He and Vieira controlled the game along with Saiz just in front. Looks like a clever signing.
Ronaldo Vieira – 8 – A huge 90 minutes for Vieira who couldn’t get into the squad on Sunday due to having a big summer away with England as well as a pre-season. He bossed the middle of the park and ended up getting a quality assist, showing he can also create in the final third, something we didn’t see much of last season. Looked like he was back to his best.
Hadi Sacko – 4 – Someone got it spot on earlier on social medium saying Sacko needs to come off twitter because the abuse he is getting is clearly affecting him in a serious way, despite on a few people doing it and he needs to knuckle down. Sacko has some serious raw ability, but he won’t be in the plans if he performs like this much longer. I don’t expect him to be in the squad Saturday.
Samu Saiz – 10 – I rarely get to hand out 10’s, once only I think but last night was a no brainer. The unwritten rule is that you don’t give 10’s but a hat-trick on your debut is so rare, something not seen a Leeds in many a year and his dummy to assist Caleb Ekuban wasn’t bad either. The Saiz Show as it will be dubbed, a glorious start to his Leeds career and then he gave the Leeds salute just to top it all off.
Stuart Dallas – 7 – Dallas seems to be a man transformed under Thomas Christiansen. He is direct and aggressive when he runs at players and was at the heart of the opening goal. A run and cross came back off the post, Samu Saiz smashing it home. He tried a few curling efforts like we saw in pre-season and I would be shocked if he didn’t make the squad on Saturday.
Caleb Ekuban – 8 – Another very impressive debut. Struggled to get into it in the first half but as the game became stretched he really showed some promise. His running and chasing is second to none and he has skills, power and pace. A lovely assist for the Saiz hat-trick goal and then swept one home himself to round off a great display.
Ezgjan Alioski – 9 – Alioski helped push the game in our favour again. He really showed the lack of input from Sacko and was at the heart of the relentless counter attacks that we were producing towards the end.
Bridcutt – 8 – Took the captains armband when he came on and showed he still has something left to give. If he performed like that every week then he wouldn’t have been left out on Sunday.
Gomes – N/A