Three games, one point and six goals conceded, hardly the ideal start for Adam Forshaw, but fans can see past results if players are playing well, and they have certainly seen the positives of having the ex-Boro man on board. With a pass completion rate of 87% and the most chances created since he arrived (credit LUFCData) he is head and shoulders above some in his area of the park.
Eyebrows were raised when the fee was revealed at £3 million plus £1.5 million add-ons but it has become very clear (to those who didn’t already see it) that he is exactly what we needed, and we still aren’t winning. His passing isn’t always forward but compared to the likes of Kalvin Phillips and you can hardly compare the two. Gjanni Alioski completed four (this is not a joke) passes forwards yesterday and Kemar Roofe just four (again, not a joke) overall in the game…a horrific stat that both should lose their places for, although that wasn’t the only reason. Then you wonder what the likes of Adam Forshaw have to give the ball to, and it isn’t much. Luckily for us Pablo Hernandez became the outlet and Lasogga was up for the game, when the ball did go into him it stuck which was a boost.
Forshaw is a clam head, Eunan O’Kane certainly isn’t and yesterday he looked half the player he did at the start of the season, not even the captains armband could boost his confidence enough to get a performance out of him. He was directly at fault for the second, despite a dive from Fleck he shouldn’t have gone in and given the ref a decision to make, it did look like a penalty real time. Even if that wasn’t the case he had given a lazy free-kick away just before that and the first came off his head with a whimper. Kalvin Phillips isn’t a ball-player by any means, neither is Ronaldo Vieira. If Matty Klich had hung around a few more weeks he may well be getting a start alongside Forshaw looking at the recent performances of the other midfielders.
It’s always been a saying in football that you only bring in players who are better than what you already have and I think January was a good window for the club. Forshaw is already the best central midfielder we have, Laurens De Bock the best left-back we have and Tyler Roberts we can’t judge yet, but he’s certainly different to the other players we have in that position. The same can’t be said for the summer signings, the opposite in fact. Only two or three can be classed as being a success in the team at a push, but realistically it’s only one, Samu Saiz. Andrea Radrizzani said the club will now focus on young British players and that’s exactly what we need. One of the reasons we have brought in Heckingbottom is to improve the young players but in Forshaw he has a ready-made Championship midfielder who will be a huge success at Leeds United.