Bellusci vs Lees - Do the stats suggest Leeds should have kept their academy product?

Sheffield Wednesday

We compare the performances of Leeds United's Guiseppe Bellusci to Sheffield Wednesday's Tom Lees.

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Leeds United will come face-to-face with the defender who they surprisingly let go this summer when they take on Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.

Tom Lees has been passed fit for the game and the Whites will be hoping to prove that they were right to allow the defender, who came through the club's academy, to depart.

Many were shocked when the 23-year-old was allowed to leave Leeds to join Wednesday on a free-transfer, given the potential that he had shown previously in his career.

Although Lees had struggled for top form in more recent times, when he broke through to the first team there were high hopes for him and many Whites supporters were left disappointed when he left.

Their spirits have been picked up, though, by the form of one of his replacements in the heart of defence, Giuseppe Bellusci.

The Italian defender is starting to become a cult figure at Elland Road, where his passionate performances are catching the eye. 

Bellusci may not be the most conventional of defenders, but he has been effective so far and Leeds fans regard him as one of their best summer signings.

Meanwhile, Lees has been making a positive impression at Wednesday too and the centre-back already plays a crucial role at Hillsborough.

The stats also suggest that Leeds would have been better served by keeping hold of their former academy product, from a defensive point of view.

  GoalsWon TackleHeadersInterceptionsBlocksAccurate PassPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Giuseppe Bellusci 1 9 11 16 9 207 78.4% 7 597
Tom Lees 0 7 41 30 8 203 71.2% 8 720

Lees is considerably better at reading the game than Bellusci and more dominant in the air, although the Italian does possess greater tackling and passing skills. 

The Owls travel to Elland Road looking to heap misery onto their Yorkshire rivals, who are winless since appointing Darko Milanic.

The Slovenian took over from Neil Redfearn, but has enjoyed no honey-moon period and Wedensday will be aiming to pile the pressure on.

If they are to do so, Lees is likely to play a key role at the heart of the defence as he looks to stop Leeds' attacking players and prove the club were wrong to relinquish him in the summer. 

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