- Leeds should hand a debut to Djed Spence but could get the best out of him by unleashing their £10k-p/w titan.
- He’s been a tackling machine so far in the Championship.
- The player didn’t start during the club’s League Cup defeat to Salford.
Leeds United, following their disappointing EFL Cup exit in midweek, will be seeking to return to winning ways as the Championship returns…
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Daniel Farke has endured a tumultuous start to the new season, having failed to win in his opening three league matches before finally claiming all three points with last Saturday’s win over Ipswich Town.
They now face another tough task against newly-promoted opposition, welcoming Sheffield Wednesday to Elland Road.
With a host of new players set to be available for this fixture, at last the German manager will boast a positive selection headache given the mass overhaul he has masterminded in the final week of the transfer window.
One such example was the acquisition of Djed Spence, who could revolutionise the right-back spot after joining on loan from Tottenham Hotspur.
However, it is another of their August additions that must be recalled for today’s clash, with Joe Rodon having been sorely missed most recently against Salford City.
His inclusion, alongside his Lilywhites teammate, could help solve one of the club’s big issues.
Will Joe Rodon start against Sheffield Wednesday?
Given how quick Farke was to throw him into the starting side, it is clear just how important the Wales international will be for the Yorkshire outfit this season as they seek to earn promotion.
Already his quality and impressive pedigree have begun shining through despite only having made three league appearances, with his 7.15 average rating impressive. This is a figure buoyed by his outstanding 92% pass accuracy, paired with 1.7 interceptions and 3.7 tackles per game, via Sofascore.
When he is present the entire team is elevated, and the 25-year-old will hope that he can prove instrumental in plugging the gaps that have seen them ship seven goals in their opening four fixtures.
His reemergence into the starting side is made particularly important given how youngster Charlie Cresswell failed to impress in that midweek cup clash, with his 6.8 rating the joint-lowest of those who started for the travelling side.
The 21-year-old’s inability to stake his claim emphasised Rodon’s absence and how big of a miss he proved to be, with Rennes boss Bruno Genesio having lauded his importance and strong mentality whilst on loan: “Joe Rodon shows an exemplary mindset, although he does not play.”
Spence also suffered from a lack of game time with the same club, having seen his season in France cut short due to injury.
However, to once again be reunited with his £10k-per-week defensive teammate could prove revolutionary for Leeds, who have been crying out for both a new defensive leader and some added energy in the full-back spots.
Rodon would offer the foundation for his 23-year-old right-back to recapture form from his loan with Nottingham Forest, which saw him record six goal contributions, one key pass per game, and earn praise from former Tricky Trees stalwart Brian Laws: “Full-backs do not tend to get many headlines.
“He grabs them by the handful. In every single game, he has a positive impact. He has power going forward, he has electric pace, he has an abundance of skill, he can drop his shoulder, step-over, go inside or outside — he is a major threat.”
It is worth noting that he was allowed to thrive within that setup beside Joe Worrall, with Rodon boasting more than enough quality to assume this role and hand Spence his ideal start to life at Elland Road.