Skubala could hand Leeds’ “exceptional” £15k-p/w gem his chance to impress v MUFC – opinion

Leeds United return to action today as they face Manchester United once again in the Premier League, fresh off the back of Wednesday’s 2-2 draw.

The Whites raced into a 2-0 lead at Old Trafford, only to see it crumble, but took plenty of positives as they seem set to once again play without a successor to Jesse Marsch lined up.

Interim head coach Michael Skubala has a tough task on his hands to decide on personnel as he seeks to reward those who battled so well in midweek without risking their fitness. However, given the recency of that clash, it is expected that the Whites’ U21s boss will be forced into making some key changes.

One of those will likely be to see Luis Sinisterra drop out, with the Colombian forced off after just eight minutes last time out.

With Leeds’ injury woes piling up, perhaps Skubala could lean on the men he has personally nurtured at youth level and unleash Crysencio Summerville once more.

Will Summerville play against Manchester United?

The 21-year-old is one of the most exciting talents to have emerged from Thorp Arch in recent years and burst onto the Premier League scene this season, scoring four goals in as many games before the World Cup.

His fourth of those, which came against Tottenham Hotspur, drew particular praise from Michael Owen, who gushed: “This is a really hard chance. He’s behind the defender in many ways when he gets the ball. I mean how he does that is really, really exceptional”.

However, since domestic football recommenced at Christmas, the Dutchman saw his chances limited by Marsch, starting only one league match in that time. He was substituted on for the Colombian in midweek but struggled to really exert himself in the game, seeing his only shot all night blocked down. 

He might now be given the perfect chance to stake his claim, not only for a place in the starting line-up today but to impress whoever the permanent successor to Marsch might be.

Due to his youth, Summerville remains incredibly raw with the ball at his feet. He is prone to giving the ball away often, losing possession 7.6 times per match, but when on form he can petrify defenders.

To have him and Wilfried Gnonto on opposite flanks in Leeds’ forward line is sure to offer a fine foundation for the team to counterattack. Also, his workmanlike attitude makes him a perfect fit for a game in which the Whites will want to get stuck into the visitors, given the rivalry between the two clubs.

When compared to other wingers across Europe’s five main leagues over the past year, Summerville sits in the top 5% for tackles and the top 7% for blocks.  This is made even more impressive due to the fact that he also ranks in the top 5% for non-penalty goals, outlining a proficiency to match his tirelessness.

To receive the backing of Skubala from the start could be imperative in giving the £15k-per-week starlet the confidence to take his big opportunity to impress with both hands, and recapture that aforementioned pre-World Cup form.


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