Former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford has revealed the player who he expects to become a major force for the Whites under Marcelo Bielsa.
The West Yorkshire outfit finally claimed a first Premier League win of the season at the seventh time of asking on Saturday. That’s after a goal from Diego Llorente was enough to see off Watford – though Bielsa claims the win was never in doubt.
And while it was Llorente who scored the winner, Leeds were once again indebted to an excellent attacking display from Raphinha.
The Brazilian star has been a revelation since arriving at Elland Road a year ago this week. In 38 appearances for Leeds, he has nine goals and nine assists – with his performances lighting up the Premier League.
However, he looks certain to be missing when Leeds return to Premier League action at Southampton on Saturday week.
A long-awaited call-up by Brazil – and the timing of their last game of the international break – means he won’t be back in time to be considered.
That will likely mean a recall for Jack Harrison, while deadline day signing Daniel James starting a fourth straight game.
The Wales star, while yet to score or assist for Leeds, enjoyed his best game against the Hornets since his move.
And Beckford is tipping the former Manchester United man to continue growing under Bielsa’s tutelage.
“Danny James, can I just take my hat off to him,” he told the Official Leeds United Podcast.
“What a player he’s turning out to be. Bags of energy, bags of enthusiasm. He just doesn’t stop running, makes great movements, makes great runs, very positive. And I’m a big fan.”
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James will likely be making his sixth appearance for Leeds at St Mary’s. And the player himself admits that playing for Bielsa was a major factor in his decision to leave Old Trafford for Elland Road.
“You’ve seen with the players he’s had over the years how much he’s improved them,” James told the Daily Telegraph. “That’s the thing I’m looking forward to most – seeing how he sees football.
“He obviously thinks I can fit in that system. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m going to walk into that team.
“Hopefully I can adapt quickly to the system but I think it’s going to take me a little while. It’s very tactical but he’s got a way of playing that I feel suits me.”
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