Leeds United recovered from their grim weekend defeat to Southampton with a narrow victory over Queen’s Park Rangers on Wednesday evening, with the Yorkshire giants having moved back up to sixth amid what has been a solid, albeit unspectacular return to life in the Championship.
While perhaps not at their free-flowing best last night, the Whites took control of proceedings early on following a close-range effort from Crysencio Summerville, with the visitors rarely looking like getting back into the game, particularly with experienced goalkeeper Asmir Begovic seeing red at the death.
Manager Daniel Farke will likely be expecting more from his side moving forward – particularly in the attacking ranks – although one notable positive was the performance of summer signing, Jaidon Anthony, who sparkled down the left flank.
How did Jaidon Anthony perform vs QPR?
With Wilfried Gnonto currently sidelined with injury, Farke opted to hand the on-loan Bournemouth man a first start for the club yesterday, with the 23-year-old taking the place of Daniel James in that wide berth.
While the Englishman was not able to bolster his goal tally, having previously netted from the bench against Watford, he did show flashes of his quality before being withdrawn on the hour mark, with Leeds Live’s Beren Cross writing that the new man ‘should keep his place for the weekend‘.
As Cross also noted, the fleet-footed wideman was ‘bright and went past defenders fairly regularly‘, with that evidenced by the fact that he attempted seven dribbles on the day as a marker of his desire to be a real outlet for the Elland Road outfit.
Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Graham Smyth was also effusive in his praise for the London-born dynamo, writing that he ‘worked hard, produced some sharp stuff and tried to link up with Byram and Rutter’, having more than taken his chance in place of James.
That’s not to suggest that Anthony’s performance was entirely perfect, however, as he lost 13 of his 17 total duels, was dribbled past on three occasions and squandered possession 21 times – albeit with that latter metric somewhat misleading for any creative, attacking asset.
There is seemingly a need for the temporary addition to work on his ‘end product’ – as Cross suggested – yet Farke could have potentially found a new weapon in the 6 foot sensation.
How good is Jaidon Anthony?
The one-time Weymouth loanee was somewhat ruthlessly cast aside by his parent club this summer, with the Cherries opting to snap up a replacement in the form of Luis Sinisterra, who moved in the opposite direction.
That departure from the Vitality Stadium had come despite Anthony having previously been crucial in the club’s promotion push in 2021/22, scoring eight times and registering six assists in the league under Scott Parker.
Speaking at the time, the former Fulham and Club Brugge boss heaped praise on the emerging talent for his unsung work both in and out of possession: “Jaidon Anthony’s a player that goes under the radar massively, what he does for this team is nothing short of incredible at times.
“In possession, we see his qualities, his calmness, his silkiness when he makes good decisions but the stuff that goes unnoticed is his defensive side, what he brings to this team.”
Even after making the step up to the Premier League last term, the former Arsenal academy asset did still manage to score three times in 30 league appearances as the south coast side staved off relegation, further proving just what a weapon he can be in the final third.
Now back in the second tier, Anthony has the chance to make a name for himself by spearheading Leeds’ push for promotion, with it fair to say that the early signs have certainly been promising.