Leeds United romped to just their third win of the new Championship season with a comfortable victory over Watford at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon, with Daniel Farke’s men stretching their league unbeaten run to six games following that 3-0 triumph.
Fresh from having held on for a draw against Hull City in midweek – despite Joe Rodon’s red card early in the second half – the Whites were in rampant mood against the visiting Hornets, with goals from Jaidon Anthony and Sam Byram sealing all three points, following a well-crafted opener from summer signing, Joel Piroe.
How did Joel Piroe perform against Watford?
As The Athletic’s Phil Hay noted, it was a truly “high-quality performance” from the hosts today, with that man Piroe having been one of the key players in helping to fire the Yorkshire giants into the playoff places after bagging his fourth goal for the club.
The former Swansea City man – who arrived on a £10m plus deal last month – appears to be showcasing the type of clinical form that was evident during his time in south Wales, having scored 41 league goals across the previous two seasons combined at the Liberty Stadium.
In truth, a player of the Dutchman’s quality was unlikely to spurn the opportunity that was presented to him on a plate by teammate Daniel James this afternoon, with the wing wizard whipping in a delightful cross which the 24-year-old duly dispatched to give the home side the lead.
That crucial opener marked what was an all-round classy display from the one-time PSV Eindhoven marksman as also registered two key passes from his number ten berth, indicating that there is merit in deploying him behind club-record signing, Georginio Rutter, rather than through the middle himself.
Piroe, however, wasn’t alone in having superbly clicked into gear in the forward line, with compatriot Crysencio Summerville also looking particularly “impressive” – as per Yorkshire Evening Post writer, Leon Wobschall.
How did Crysencio Summerville play against Watford?
With Wilfried Gnonto facing a potential stint on the sidelines, it looks as if it could be Summerville who proves the man to fill that void on the flanks, with it having been ‘another electric performance from the winger‘ – as per Leeds Live’s Beren Cross.
The Netherlands U21 international had previously been particularly lively after replacing the stricken Gnonto in the early knockings of the midweek stalemate, with Cross writing at the time that he had been ‘by far the best attacking outlet on the night.’
While it was the aforementioned James who bagged two assists this time around – as well as the highest Sofascore match rating of 8.1 – it is fair to say that Summerville simply stole the show, both due to his attacking contribution, but also his relentless work ethic.
The tricky winger was a constant menace from his left-wing berth having completed four of his five attempted dribbles and won three fouls for his side, as ‘nobody in white was more direct or dangerous‘, in the words of Cross.
Although the 21-year-old did lose possession on 23 occasions in his 80-minute outing, that was simply a marker of his desire to make things happen for his side, as the £15k-per-week gem also registered three shots on target.
As also alluded to, what set Summerville apart from those around him was his willingness to muck in defensively as he won a mammoth nine ground duels, more than any other player on the pitch.
While the Rotterdam native was not able to cap his dazzling outing with a goal or an assist, such a performance will have proven to Farke that he can be the man to take on Gnonto’s mantle moving forward.