This is without doubt the hardest Player Of The Month I have had to do since I started writing. Last season we had some very good months, often three or four players stood out but the fist month of the season has been the best in our history, and that means the majority have excelled. It could have been any number of seven or eight players.
Winner – SamuSaiz
Now let me go through the players who were extremely close to winning this. Starting at the back, Pontus Jansson. We haven’t conceded a goal whilst he has been on the park this season. Liam Cooper, almost feels like a brand new signing and has taken on the captaincy and proved most of us wrong. Eunan O’Kane, easily the most consistent performer. Ezgjan Alioski has been very good and has got better as games have gone on. Kalvin Phillips also like a new player, and others can feel hard done by for not winning, Luke Ayling for example.
Why has Saiz won when he hasn’t played all the games?
Saiz didn’t feature against Bolton but bagged a hat-trick days later in probably the best debut in Leeds history, despite the lowly opposition. In terms of players stamping their authority on the side in years gone by in such a short space of time he is very near the top of the list. He struggled slightly against Fulham but turned in top showings against Nottingham Forest and Sunderland. We paid Huesca £3 million for the services of Saiz, on a four-year-deal and we can already tell that the deal is an absolute bargain, as are others that Orta has closed this summer.
Everything we do seems to go through Samu Saiz and the impact of him is remarkable given how long it can take players to settle in this country and division after a move from abroad. Five goals, a hat-trick against Port Vale, one away at Sunderland and one against Newport County. He also assisted the goal at Sunderland and had huge parts in other goals. Compare this to the man he is replacing in that role and the stats are there for all to see. Pablo Hernandez (who also played League Cup games) scored six goals in the entirety of last season and has been forced to play wide left, a position that Stuart Dallas is now pushing him to reclaim.
Saiz has been fantastic since joining the club and is such a crucial part of what we are doing already that in the end he was the no brainer for this months #PAS Player Of The Month.