BBC Radio Leeds reporter Adam Pope has told the Don’t Go To Bed Just Yet podcast that he has a “real worry” about new Leeds United midfielder Weston McKennie – and it is that the American lacks any kind of attacking output.
McKennie, 24, has made a solid start to life at Leeds since joining the club on a loan-to-buy basis from Juventus in the summer. Teaming up with childhood friend Tyler Adams, and USA teammate Brenden Aaronson, he has impressed.
Decent displays in holding midfield alongside Adams against Manchester United, twice – and a good outing against Southampton have followed. At Fulham, in the FA Cup, he was used in a more-advanced role, more as a number eight.
Pope has highlighted the need for goals from midfield and he does not believe McKennie can provide as such. He claims that he does not see the quality in the final third, despite getting forward, that would see him score goals.
“He gets up and down well. He crunches into a few. I felt, particularly at Fulham in midweek, you saw the better side of him. My worry is are these going to put three or four goals over a season? There’s a bit of bite there next to Adams.
“Are they going to get 10 between them? He is someone who’s getting forward, he’s not deep-lying like a [Marc] Roca. And that’s a real worry for me, I just don’t see that in his particular game,” Pope said, in his latest podcast.
Adam Pope has real worry about new Leeds midfielder Weston McKennie
McKennie has hardly been brought in to score goals, but if he could notch two or three before the end of the season then it will be gladly accepted. Javi Gracia’s preferred system at Watford was to always use two holding midfielders.
As things stand, that looks as though it will be McKennie and Adams until the end of the season. It will be up to the players in front of the American midfielders to provide the creativity and the goals. Brighton are next, on Saturday.