By Richard Parks
Former Leeds United goalkeeper Paul Robinson has hailed Samuel Saiz as a key player who has been hugely missed ahead of his imminent return after a six-match suspension.
Saiz is one of three United players, along with defensive pair Liam Cooper and Gaetano Berardi, available for selection against Derby County on Wednesday after serving suspensions.
The Spanish playmaker was hugely influential for Leeds in the opening half of the season before being slapped with a six-match suspension for spitting during the team’s FA Cup defeat at Newport County last month.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ football channel on Sunday, the former England keeper Robinson explained how impressed he has been by Saiz this season and what a difference it will make to the team to have him back as the senior trio prepare to return.
“Three big players, especially Saiz, he’s been missed,” Robinson told Sky Sports in the immediate aftermath of the televised fixture. “He’s a very creative player. We’ve seen Dallas pushed forward from right-back to midfield and Hernandez on the left due to the fact there has been a real lack of creativity in recent weeks.
“Lasogga has been scoring goals, but hasn’t been getting as much service as he would have liked. It’s been a problem. With Saiz coming back, it’s a definite bonus.”
Football Insider verdict:
For Leeds to have any chance of securing a play-off spot, they will need Saiz to immediately discover his best form after his lengthy spell on the sidelines. The Real Madrid academy product is the real deal whose touch, vision and game understanding are a level above not only his Leeds colleagues, but also most of the players in the Championship. He owes the team some big performances after his appalling conduct at Newport, for which he immediately admitted his guilt and accepted his punishment. If Saiz is good, Leeds can be good, too.
In other Leeds United team news, a 27-year-old has insisted he still has a BIG future at the club after reports he will never play for the Yorkshire giants again.