The game on Good Friday won’t be remembered by many, we’ll probably look back it as that game Ekuban grabbed his first Leeds goal in the league, but he should have had a hat-trick. Caleb Ekuban divides opinion, will he get the goals? No, he won’t get them in bulk, but he brings a lot to the side away from that. As a striker are goals the only thing we really judge him on? Some say yes, some say no.
The debate will rage on, it already is on social media and in all fairness I could hear the same conversation being had amongst a few groups of fans in the concourse on Friday at half time, is Ekuban someone you keep playing? For me there is situations where he plays, and some where he doesn’t but he is certainly a player you have in the squad every week in the Championship. In an ideal match day squad you have four strikers, that is if you play with two up front. If you only play one striker, two on the bench. If you play the one, Ekuban doesn’t play. Why? He won’t get the goals needed to win you that games more weeks than not. If you play two strikers the he’s in that team because he brings you the running of channels, the pressure and the player who is selfless. He needs a partner who will stay in and around the box and be selfish, we don’t really have one currently.
For only the second time of the season we started with two strikers on Friday and it looked so much better. We should have had five or six goals but as it was we had to settle with the two. The other game was at home to Bristol City, a game we didn’t play well at all in the first-half but almost won it with the last kick of the game. With the two at the moment you have Ekuban and Lasogga, there is no other option. Lasogga doesn’t do much running if you compare him to Ekuban and that is effectively what you are looking for but Lasogga just isn’t going to get the goals needed, he scores in patches but consistency wise he has so much to do. As it is we surely can’t afford anywhere near the wages needed to attract Lasogga anyway, and you probably wouldn’t pay them even if he did want to come.
Caleb Ekuban will never be everyone’s cup of tea, that’s a fact. He will run and run, close down players anywhere on the park and give you 100% every game, but without the goals some won’t see that as helpful and that is a fair point. His energy should set the tone for the side and at times it does, but the problem is the team isn’t set out to play like that at the moment. Patches of the team are good at one thing and patches of it simply aren’t, they are better at something else and we really have no identity or way of playing. The counter attack suited us on Friday and Ekuban was the focal point of that. The main issue with two up front for Leeds currently is that Samu Saiz has no place in that side, his free role goes out the window. It will be very interesting to see which way Heckingbottom goes on Tuesday at Fulham.