Leeds United Opinion: Samuel Saiz’s return could have possibly saved the Whites a fortune in the market
The 28-year-old playmaker left Elland Road to join Getafe on loan back in January, professing his desire to leave the West Yorkshire outfit permanently at the end of the season in a bid to ply his trade in his homeland. (h/t Leeds Live)
However, things haven’t quite gone according to the script for Saiz and he is set for a return to Leeds, with Getafe not showing any significant interest in making his stay permanent.
Leeds Live also understands that the playmaker doesn’t have any realistic offers from clubs in the Spanish top-flight and he has been left with no other option than to return to his parent club ahead of the upcoming season.
Saiz played a significant role for Leeds in the first half of this past season, contributing with 4 assists from 19 appearances to ignite hopes of a promotion-winning campaign. However, his time at Getafe was anything but fruitful, with the midfielder just starting twice in the La Liga and making a total of 10 appearances, managing a single goal in the process.
The 28-year-old played a shockingly low 300 minutes of football on his loan spell in the Spanish top-flight and it is no surprise that Getafe are not keen to sign him permanently, particularly after finishing 5th in the La Liga.
Well, Saiz’s desire to earn a permanent move to the La Liga apparently hasn’t come to anything but Leeds, on the contrary, have every reason to be elated with the 28-year-old’s return to England.
The Whites were flying high in the Championship back in January when Saiz departed and they had a chance of securing automatic promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 15 years but Marcelo Bielsa’s side faltered badly over the Easter period and ultimately finished 3rd in the standings.
That was enough to earn them a playoff spot but their hopes ended with a painful 4-2 defeat at the hands of Frank Lampard’s Derby County in the second leg of the semi-finals.
Having missed out on promotion, Leeds would be forced to alter their stance and adopt a different approach in the transfer window. They need to look at bargain deals and players who can offer good value for money, meaning that the arrival of any marquee signing at Elland Road this summer is improbable.
And that is exactly why the return of Samuel Saiz can be such a massive boost to Leeds United, as the Whites look to put all the disappointment behind them and start right from the scratch once again next season.
Saiz’s departure in January exposed the lack of depth in the club’s attacking midfield ranks and Marcelo Bielsa was forced to rotate his players and tinker with his tactics a lot more than he would have liked.
The Argentinian was forced to use the likes of Tyler Roberts and Patrick Bamford in an attacking midfield role and neither of them particularly impressed, as the void left by Saiz proved to be a massive one.
Mateusz Kilch was forced to shoulder a lot more responsibility in the middle of the park, while Adam Forshaw, who is primarily a defensive midfielder, was used in a more advanced role further up the pitch.
Saiz has the vision and the incisive passing ability to rip defences apart and create chances, which was so crucial to Leeds’ success in the earlier stages of this past campaign. He has the ability to work those half-spaces in the final third, while also possessing the ability to be creative between the lines and break the opposition down.
A tireless worker on and off the ball, he adds a certain degree of stability, cohesiveness and cutting-edge to the midfield and his charismatic presence can be a huge asset to the Whites in their surge for promotion next season.
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The Whites have some promising young midfielders in Jamie Shackleton and Jack Clarke, both of whom have impressed playing a bit-part role in the first-team this season. They are likely to play a bigger role next term but the return of Saiz could possibly have saved the club a fortune in the transfer window.