Italian Leeds star looks to be a key midfield presence

Elland Road pitchside

Tommaso Bianchi controlled the midfield in Leeds United’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham.

The 25-year old midfielder has featured regularly since arriving at the club this summer, as one of 15 new faces to be brought in under Massimo Cellino.

He has struggled in games so far this season, although when given time and space his qualities have shone through - proving that he is far too good for the Championship.

In the diamond midfield that Leeds have used consistently this season, the 25-year old has been deployed as one of the two box-to-box midfielders, with Alex Mowatt fulfilling the same job on the opposite side of the pitch.

And in the 1-1 draw at Birmingham City, Bianchi looked as if he had perfected the role, attacking and defending with keen insight, and controlling the play with more effectiveness than Lewis Cook - who should theoretically be playmaking from deep.

The Italian had a game high of 100 touches of the ball, and passed the ball 86 times - also a game high, and exactly double the amount of passes played by the most involved Birmingham player.

And rather than just spraying the ball around needlessly, Bianchi had a pass success rate of 83%, and one lay off to his teammates was a key pass.

His desire to pick up the ball from his teammates and restart play was evident, but it is also his willingness to win the ball back from the opposition and counter attack that highlights his importance in this Leeds team - a team thoroughly lacking in both team spirit and leaders.

He won five of his aerial duals, one tackle, and completed three effective clearances, as he threw his body onto the line for the good of the team. Despite his upbringing and arrival from Italty, Bianchi looks to have understood what the Whites faithful want to see more than anything - players willing to put the good of the club ahead of themselves.

Having a player who fulfils a role for the good of the team is fantastic, and that the specific player is as talented as Bianchi is an added bonus. Having impressed in a system not overly suited to the current Whites squad, one can only imagine how influential he could be when the team is set up perfectly around him.

However, for now, fans can just be pleased that Elland Road is once again home to a player who epitomises the history of their club - passion, desire and quality, whilst wearing the white of Leeds.

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