Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch could be about to unleash Sam Greenwood into the first-team in the near future as intriguing comments emerged after their 3-0 win over Watford on Saturday…
What’s been said?
The 20-year-old forward came off the bench for an impressive 27-minute cameo, replacing the barren Daniel James, and he took his opportunity by providing two assists for the Whites’ second and third goals.
After handing Kalvin Phillips a sight on goal, only for Ben Foster to save it, the academy prospect fed through Rodrigo, who rounded the goalkeeper to double the advantage before he played a clever ball out wide to Jack Harrison on the wing.
Should Sam Greenwood start for Leeds?
He then cut inside and curled a left-footed effort past the Hornets’ shot-stopper to seal all three points at Vicarage Road.
Speaking after the game, Marsch hinted that he may have to utilise Greenwood more often, as relayed by The Athletic’s ever-reliable Phil Hay.
“Interestingly, said of the entire group, Sam Greenwood has adapted to his ideas better than anyone. Marsch says he needs to use him more,” he revealed.
It was rather telling that the American head coach turned to the former Arsenal gem over someone like Joe Gelhardt, who has delivered a couple of goals in the Premier League this season, on the day.
Yes, there’s an argument to be made in the fact that Joffy has been injured recently, but with two goals and three assists in just 486 senior minutes, he’s surely a hard name to ignore when looking down the bench.
The fact that Marsch believes Greenwood has adapted to his methods more than any other player in the whole first-team squad surely means we see more of him going forward.
In his 23 minutes and on top of those two assists, the youngster also registered two successful dribbles and won a whopping 77.7% of his nine duels; he also put in three tackles, pressing from the front with relentless work rate – something that clearly caught the eye of the Leeds boss.
Greenwood, who has been likened to former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, has been in fine form for the U23s in the Premier League 2 this campaign, where he has scored eight goals and laid on five assists, taking his total to 21 goals in 37 appearances, via Transfermarkt.
It’s no wonder that, according to an inside source, the word “phenomenal” is regularly used to describe the promising forward around the club’s Thorp Arch training base.
Lauded for his “incredible impact” against Watford this weekend, it’s surely only a matter of time before we see Marsch trust Greenwood in the starting lineup going forward, especially with Patrick Bamford’s continued absence through injury.
Gelhardt could now be in trouble, as a result.