Football moves fast, and it moves fast in the January transfer window. All the things Weston McKennie had to consider when making the move from Juventus to Leeds United maybe thrown at him in a few days, if not hours. Questions of role, money, future, and the allure of moving to a country where he already spoke the language may have all played a role, and he only had a limited amount of time to move to the day before the deadline. . It was a fast moving life.
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to boot, he was going to a club where he knew the manager And would’ve been pretty sure Jesse Marsh would not only play him regularly, but play him in his favorite position as No.8 in a 4-3-3, where he can run a lot and get into the box and get Is. scoring chances.
Less than a week later, Marsh is out on his ass, and McKennie’s stay at Leeds and overall career is looking a bit spotty. Even Leeds’ future is more bleak as they look like the walking dead on their way to relegation. They are just one point outside the bottom three, and their next two games are away at Man City and at home to Newcastle. They have faced one draw and four losses in their last five matches and have won two of their last eight. Cumulative score of their last five matches? 18-5. But hey, at least he scored in each of them!
As Marsh found out, when you’re American and things aren’t going well you become a very easy and obvious target for fans and the media alike. At least McKenney isn’t talking nonsense and self-celebrating in the press like his predecessor (and the future?) manager that only made it easier to pillage him. But McKennie’s stay in the Premier League has been tough.
No goals and no assists for the midfielder whose main strength is how he is involved in attack.
FotMob.com, a major player-rater site, has McKennie an average rating of 6.4 for his 15 appearances for England, which is the definition of mediocre. He has seen his shots-on-target per 90 minutes jump from 0.68 at Juventus to 0.08 at Leeds. His passing percentage has dropped by five percentage points. Perhaps worse, he’s running in midfield a lot, losing two-thirds of his duels (per FBref.com). And he is not the attacking force he was with Schalke in both Italy and Germany, as his progressive carries per match have been cut in half in West Yorkshire (Also according to FBRef.com). He has a 0.00 carry in the penalty area rate.
Circumstances haven’t helped. Javi Gracia, since he took over for Marsh, has used McKennie deeper than anyone else, playing as part of a double-pivot in a 4–2–3–1, especially since Tyler Adams is hurt. This is not McKennie’s strength.
And he’s really done everything right there, considering he’s never been a great passer or fully connected to the position. He is rarely asked to do these things because he is not good at them, which is why Juventus deploy him on the narrow right in a 4-4-2 most of the time. his tackles and interceptions The numbers are going up, but they have to consider his position on the field. You’re going to face a lot of tackles in the center of midfield, especially when you’re playing for Leeds and they don’t have the ball much, just by accident.
But when Leeds have been ripped down the middle, as they have been by Crystal Palace or Liverpool, or Bournemouth, McKennie has faced plenty of arrows (go to Twitter, search McKennie, and quickly Find out what Leeds fans think about his physique. He simply isn’t equipped to handle that position, as he’s not much of a dribbler to break out of tight spaces, he’s not much of a passer to orchestrate attacks, and he doesn’t have the deep experience in midfield to know how to do it. That’s where to go to crush attacks against. He’ll lose control there.
McKennie is hurt by the disarray at Leeds. He apparently didn’t have a plan when he fired Marsh, which probably led him to do so. on the verge of firing their replacement With four games to go. They don’t have a striker that is worth adding or lose McKennie as their specialty. He looks mentally broken.
Of concern to USMNT fans is the prospect of two nailed-on starters (McKenny and Adams) and one big contributor (Brendan Aaronson) playing in the English championship in the season leading up to the Copa America, where the national team will be hoping Making serious noise to build momentum, and buzz for a World Cup on home soil two years later.
As first wrote in these halls Twice, McKennie is a very strange player. He’s a midfielder who can’t really pass, dribble or tackle. He just… scores goals, but that skill is so valuable that a team really can’t live without it. But to really flourish, he needs something around him, which Leeds have absolutely not had since Adams’ exit. Unless the new USMNT manager is Marsh (and he probably will be), a new national team manager might consider whether they need the midfielder in the starting lineup. who could pass for seeing as addams And Yunus Musa isn’t really either.
The odds have worked against McKennie over the last three years of his career. He was bought by Juve along with Andrea Pirlo. He was fired before the end of his first season. Juventus was already in decline when he showed up and only accelerated after he arrived, who came with the system and the flow of ideas, and the situation for him. He was brought to England by Marsh, and he was gone in six days, which again meant a new manager and system, and position. This happens in football. McKennie can either adapt his game or find a place where he can do what he does regularly. Nothing of the sort seems to be happening in Leeds.
Follow Sam on Twitter @felsgate As he became a key member of de la Torre starting 11 fan clubs in the USMNT.