Leeds United have answered back convincingly to a minority of critics at Elland Road that expected the Whites would continue to struggle after a slow start to Championship life, Daniel Farke’s side stamping their authority on the division last time out in an impressive 1-0 win away at Leicester City.
Only losing one game from their opening 14 before Leeds came to town, the Foxes were humbled by the Whites on the night with Georginio Rutter scoring the decisive strike.
The ex-Hoffenheim man has stepped up to the mark for his team since their relegation down to the Championship, leading the line effectively in a feared attack often consisting of Joel Piroe, Crysencio Summerville and Dan James directly behind him.
Yet, Sam Greenwood is currently outperforming the French attacker out on loan with Middlesbrough – the former Arsenal youth player yet to really be given an opportunity in west Yorkshire.
Greenwood will just keep plugging away at the Riverside Stadium at this moment in time, whilst Rutter focuses on continuing to star under Farke’s guidance.
Rutter’s numbers this season
Deployed not just as an out-and-out poacher who instinctively finishes off chances, Rutter’s strengths also revolve around his ability to create opportunities for his teammates to fire home.
Leeds’ number 24 has more assists than he has goals so far this season, assisting five times whilst only scoring three from 14 played.
It was his display at Millwall away back in September that first got Leeds fans waxing lyrical about their 21-year-old hot prospect, charging through unmarked to assist Piroe for the first goal of the contest at the Den.
He would rub salt into the Millwall wound with a goal of his own late on to give Farke’s men a deserved 3-0 victory, firing a fierce effort into the back of the net after a deflected pass fortuitously found its way to him.
With Leeds sharing the goals around in attack – Piroe and Summerville fighting it out for the top goal scorer bragging rights with five and six respectively – Rutter is excelling more as a creative spark but he can score crucial goals when called upon.
Greenwood is also performing well in a creative role at Middlesbrough, playing predominantly as a winger under new boss Michael Carrick.
Greenwood’s numbers this season
Since making the switch in the summer to Teesside on loan, Greenwood has seen his first-team experience at senior level increase with Boro – making 12 appearances in total for Carrick’s men so far, after his minutes at Leeds had been cut.
The 21-year-old has three goals to his name in those 12 appearances – all of which have come in his last – including a strike last time out to help his team salvage a share of the points away at Plymouth Argyle in an electric 3-3 contest.
As a result, Greenwood is currently outperforming Rutter in front of goal, despite being away from Elland Road – finding the back of the net at a faster rate than his counterpart.
The tricky winger was a standout performer down in Devon, winning eight of his 15 ground duels per Sofascore on top of scoring one of his three on target attempts.
Praised from a young age within the Leeds Academy structure – football journalist Noel Whelan calling the 21-year-old “immense” after a James Ward-Prowse style free-kick hit the back of net in 2021 whilst featuring for the Whites – Greenwood will surely get more opportunities at Elland Road when this loan deal expires.
The 5 foot 11 attacker, who has been capped at England U21 level, would give Farke another dynamic option in attack with the German head coach spoilt for choice already without the addition of Greenwood to his plans.