Wrong to sell 27-year-old: Three things we learned about Leeds after draw v QPR
By Will Butcher
Football Insider analyses three talking points from Leeds’ 0-0 draw against QPR at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon.
Mistake to sell 27-year-old
QPR striker Matt Smith returned to Elland Road for just the second time after leaving the Yorkshire giants in the summer of 2014 to join Fulham, and showed the home crowd what they had been missing. Although unable to find the back of the net for Ian Holloway’s QPR, the 27-year-old striker was a constant threat as the London side’s attacking spearhead, beating defensive duo Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson in the air on multiple occasions. With Chris Wood relied upon to score goals this season, the New Zealand international has little adequate back-up. Smith would provide that, as he proved to fans that he would have still have something to offer in Yorkshire.
Hernandez remains pivotal
It is obvious that Spain international Pablo Hernandez’s efforts have been key to Leeds’ attacking efforts this season, orchestrating proceedings in the final third. However, the former Swansea playmaker has been guilty of going missing in recent matches and Saturday’s match was another occurrence of just that. Hernandez’s performances, then, remain key. When he plays well, Leeds seem to overpower their opponents which was plain to see during the 3-1 win against Birmingham last week. However, when the fleet-footed star fails to show up, Leeds struggle to provide Wood with any ammunition. Monk must find the key to Hernandez’s consistency in the number 10 role.
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Any need for Barrow?
The Gambia international was left out of Monk’s matchday squad to face QPR on Saturday, after making just four substitute appearances since moving to Yorkshire on loan from Premier League side Swansea on January’s transfer deadline day. The 24-year-old winger has failed to have an impact since his move to Leeds, with plenty of competition out wide in the likes of Alfonso Pedraza, Souleymane Doukara, Hadi Sacko, Kemar Roofe and Stuart Dallas. Now way down the pecking order, Monk’s decision to sign Barrow should be questioned.