In a season that started brightly, dipped, then improved before freefalling, one player has continued to avoid much of the negativity thrown at others – that man is Spanish playmaker Samu Saiz.
Saiz is a player who was unknown to most, if not all, Leeds fans before his name came on to the radar during last summer. Confused looks, shoulders shrugged and ‘another foreign import’ jibes thrown were par for the course amongst the Whites’ terrace faithful. You Tube and internet searches provided all that Leeds United fans knew about the diminutive Spanish playmaker early doors.
During former club Huesca’s charge up the La Liga 2 table last season, Saiz played a vital role in performances that drove the Aragon-based side to the play-offs and the brink of promotion to La Liga proper. He arrived from Huesca’s ‘nearly’ season with 12 goals and eight assists to his name, with his £3 million arrival at Elland Road marking the first time he’s played football outside of his native Spain. He’s not doing too shabbily in the Sky Bet Championship either, having scored five goals, provided six assists and won many plaudits.
He has skill, panache, poise and a seemingly effortless amount of time on the ball. He is a player who demands respect from opposition defenders, many who are wary to dive in should they make a hash of the challenge, and a fool of themselves. There have been plenty who’ve fallen foul of that. It is these characteristics that has given Leeds fans hope that they have a ‘baller’ on their hands, hope that will be multiplied next season after the ‘bedding in’ of this campaign.
He’s been out for the last few games, victim of a hamstring injury. His absence has been tangible and Leeds United fans will be quick to point out the effect of his loss. Opposition players, wary of his talents, often stand off him, or clatter in to him, and he’s quickly become a point of attack that drives Leeds United forward.
However, with journalist Lee Sobot, and the club (tweet – below) confirming that he is back in training, there is much encouragement to be taken in to today’s match against Bolton Wanderers at Elland Road. Sobot quotes Leeds United boss Paul Heckingbottom, in regard to Saiz, saying: “He was up to 95% [fitness], we’re hoping we can manage him through.”
The news has been welcomed by Leeds United fans, fans who are hoping that the side can arrest their dismal form of late and put together an end-of-season charge that will bring a little late joy. Below these fans have taken to Twitter to comment on the magicians return.
Leeds United fans comment on news of Saiz return
Come on son
— gary allen (@geezergaz) March 28, 2018
— Scholesylufc🎩 (@ScholesStuart) March 28, 2018
Friday win 💙💛👊
— Julieann Szymanski (@lava_lamps) March 28, 2018
— TheCheeseWedgeAssassin (@TCWA_LUFC) March 28, 2018
Come on Samu 💙💛
— Chelle Acott (@ChelleLUFC) March 28, 2018
One sexy bastard
— Aaron (@AaronLUFC__) March 28, 2018