In fairness when Leeds United were rumoured to be in for Spaniard Samu Saiz, there were very few fans who really knew anything about him.
Some may have seen the odd match from La Liga 2, but the big majority of Whites fans would have had to be content with knowledge gleaned from the Internet or via video games such as FIFA or Football Manager.
Saiz was a man in demand after his 2016/17 heroics driving CD Huesca to the fringes of promotion to La Liga, before losing out in the play-offs to Getafe. Leeds United were battling it out with Spanish sides Eibar, Alaves and real Betis for his signature. The Whites, buoyed by new owner Andrea Radrizzani’s push to strengthen the side, were able to outbid the Spanish sides.
12 goals and 8 assists for Huesca was always going to be a hard conversion into the Sky Bet Championship, with many citing the harder nature of the English second-tier competition. He’s not done too shabbily so far in his opening forays in English football; he’s featured in eight league and cup games so far – scoring six goals and adding two assists.
That’s only a part of his armoury, albeit the bread-and-butter for a secondary striker/number 10, and there is much, much more that the diminutive Spaniard brings come match day. Playing in the middle of an advanced three behind a lone striker, Saiz is pivotal in giving the Whites a focal point from which to dictate play.
At times his vision and touch at beyond unreal, with his anticipation of events on the field almost reaching Jedi levels. The force runs strong in this one, his midi-chlorian count is high and he, at times, makes others look mere padawans.
He doesn’t need a light saber, his wand of choice is his right foot – a foot that is the essence of pure magic. It flows through him like a sustaining life force and fizzes out when he plays. You only have to look at the evidence to see this:
— Hank Scorpio (@VouisLanH) September 11, 2017
— Aleks (@Aleks_LUFC) September 9, 2017
In fairness, some of his play is that filthy that the referee should pull him up and tell him to tone it down a little. Most footballers cushion the ball with their feet and spin away from markers. For Samu Saiz this is too pre-school an option. At times he uses his heel itself to deflect the ball past an often bemused opponent, before spinning himself to chase it.
It is becoming plain as day to see that Samu Saiz, despite his small frame, is quickly growing in stature in the Sky Bet Championship. Leeds United may have had to stump up a reported £3 million to bring in Saiz, but it is outlay that has brought in a piece of magic. In fairness there is no price that can be placed on magic.