18 July 2024

Daniel Farke leaves role as Krasnodar manager without taking charge of a  single match in Russian Premier League - Eurosport

As the 2022/23 season came to a close, there was outcry among Leeds United supporters.

Their great club had been relegated again, thrown into the Championship after a dreadful season that saw three managers come and go.

Victor Orta also took his leave, but not before creating chaos at Elland Road, with a number of his signings quick to throw the towel in and quit life in Yorkshire for brighter footballing shores.

Out went the likes of Luis Sinisterra, Robin Koch, Rodrigo, Tyler Adams and more, but pivotally some of their brightest attacking talent remained. Crysencio Summerville happens to be one of them, as does Georginio Rutter.

Life hasn’t all been plain sailing for the Frenchman, however, who looked to be following in the scuffled footsteps of Jean-Kevin Augustin.

Like the former RB Leipzig striker, Rutter arrived in the January transfer window to much fanfare. Like Augustin, he also struggled for game time. Fortunately, the 21-year-old’s time at Leeds hasn’t ended in a legal trial.

Instead, he has been afforded minutes in the Championship by new manager Daniel Farke. So he should too. This is a club-record £35m signing, after all.

How many goals has Rutter scored for Leeds?

Leeds United: Georginio Rutter still holds Elland Road future after update

The young forward endured a timid start to life in the English second tier but has come alive in recent weeks, proving he could well be the answer to Farke’s prayers.

He found the net against Ipswich towards the end of August and then once football resumed last weekend following the international break, returned with aplomb.

Alongside new signing Joel Piroe, they were electrifying as the pairing combined delightfully during a 3-0 win over Millwall.

Rutter scored the final goal of the game, racing onto a ball into the penalty area from a counter attack, but not before he’d done his fair share of creating, notably making five key passes in the match, one of which found the aforementioned Piroe to open the scoring.

Such a rampant free-flowing display was like watching Bielsa’s Leeds all over again. It was like watching Pablo Hernandez and Patrick Bamford of old, just with a little more pace, trickery and razzmatazz, not that two of the great Argentine’s disciples had boring play styles.

Rutter and indeed Piroe will be key this term if Leeds are to secure promotion at the first time of asking, but they’re not the only livewires who could play a vital role. Step forward from the wilderness, Daniel James.

Where has it gone wrong for Daniel James at Leeds?

33,384 Daniel James Photos & High Res Pictures - Getty Images

The tale of James and Leeds is a rather remarkable one. Rewind to a cold winter’s day in January of 2019 and he was undergoing a medical with the club.

A £7m deal was in place to sign him from Piroe’s former employers in Swansea City, but as the minutes and hours ticked by, a deal suddenly fell through.

The Welshman had posed for club photos and done his media duties, only to remain in Wales, at least until the end of the season.

A remarkable move to Manchester United followed in June but Bielsa soon had his man in the building. After an unsuccessful stint at Old Trafford, James finally found himself crossing the penines into Leeds. A £25m move was done in 2021 but his spell hasn’t been too fortuitous.

He has only found the net on four occasions in 45 outings and was far from Jesse Marsch’s plans last term, ultimately loaned out to Fulham. A plethora of inconsistent displays which lacked end product was the reason for the 25-year-old’s downfall.

Now, however, he is back in the division where he really made a name for himself, having scored four and registered an impressive 11 assists in 37 Championship outings for Swansea.

How has Daniel James performed this season?

Daniel James: Leeds and Wales winger 'a Premier League player', says Rob  Page - BBC Sport

Already you can see James looks more at home at this level. For Leeds, he is not a regular starter yet but an assist in the 1-1 draw with West Brom and another assist from the bench against Millwall last Sunday has sparked hopes that he could make a huge impact this term.

He will have to overcome Summerville on the right-hand side of Farke’s team first, though, but there is now a strong belief that the diminutive winger has what it takes to flourish in the EFL.

His lively cameo last weekend was all the proof we needed, with Leeds Live’s Beren Cross noting in his post-match player ratings that it is “such a luxury having a player of this standing come off the bench.”

That is largely owed to his remarkable pace, of which has been described as an “absolute nightmare” for the opposition by Micah Richards.

Rutter and Piroe are unlikely to be starved of service this term with Summerville and Willy Gnonto on the flanks but in James, a player with devastating pace and know-how in this league, they could well become even more menacing.

There won’t be many better players off the bench this term than James, who could punish tired legs to supply chance after chance for his colleagues in the final third.

Things are starting to click for the Wales international in Leeds, and fortunately, things are starting to click for Farke too. Such a remarkable party of players to choose from in the offensive line must have the German salivating.

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