, Leeds United: sole deadline day purchase – a story

Leeds United: sole deadline day purchase – a story

Are you sitting comfortable? Yes? Then I shall begin. Once upon a time, at the end of August 2016 on a day called Transfer Deadline Day, Leeds United bought a player.

You see, that’s what enraged a lot of Whites fans who were expecting a deluge of players to come in on that day. It didn’t happen and only Ireland international Eunan O’Kane was signed from Premier League side Bournemouth. Just the single, lone player was brought in.

‘Lack of ambition’ some cried, ‘Relegation beckoning’ warned others with the sole signing of Eunan O’Kane being seen as some portent of doom, a nail being hammered into a coffin being prepared to be closed.

The thing is, O’Kane has put in some consistent displays that not only gloss over the fact he was Leeds’ only signing on August 31, but totally change the colour scheme.

O’Kane’s performance numbers this season for Leeds United

Total/Per typical 90 minutes

  • Appearances/Minutes Played: 8 appearances/713 minutes
  • Tackles: 17 successful from 32 attempted (53% success); 2.1 successful from 4 attempts
  • Interceptions: 9; 1.1 interceptions
  • Clearances: 9; 1.1 clearances
  • Blocks: 11; 1.4 blocks
  • Defensive Actions: 46; 5.8 defensive actions
  • Passes: 307 completed from 421 attempted (72.9%); 41.3 completed from 53.1 attempted
  • Key Passes (leading to a chance): 6; 0.8 key passes
  • Dribbles: 9 successful from 12 attempted (75% success); 1.2 successful from 1.5 attempted

Eunan O’Kane is beginning to receive the plaudits from Leeds United fans as he adapts to becoming the ‘old head’ in midfield in the absence of fellow Premier League recruit Liam Bridcutt, whose metatarsal injury will likely rule him out for a further 6-8 weeks or so. Alongside O’Kane have appeared Academy youngsters Kalvin Phillips and the exciting Ronaldo Vieira – a youngster playing well in advance of his tender years.

When Bridcutt is back and fit, then Leeds United fans can look forward to having two very accomplished defensive midfielders installed in Garry Monk’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation where double defensive midfielders add that strength and cohesion behind what is often an attack-oriented midfield three.

This could very well be the time when the Whites look to consolidate that push towards the top and keep up the momentum that could hopefully bring about that hallowed ground of the play-offs come the season’s end.

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