Leeds United's Charlie Taylor below par in key area but still vital in victory

Elland Road Revie Stand

Leeds United defeated Middlesbrough 1-0 on Saturday, with Charlie Taylor playing a crucial role at the back.

Leeds United defender Charlie Taylor’s emergence following the departure of Stephen Warnock has been nothing short of sensational.

It has been clear for some time that Leeds have a number of talented young players, but Taylor has shown in just 11 appearances this season that he can be among the best of the bunch.

Taylor has played every minute of Leeds’ last eight Championship matches and he has not looked out of place for a moment.

In the club’s victory against Middlesbrough this weekend, the 21-year-old was nowhere near his best when it came to a key area of his game – crossing accuracy – but that was put on the backburner as he helped his side win a backs-to-the-wall battle with their opponents’ front-line.

While goalkeeper Marco Silvestri and centre-backs Sol Bamba and Giuseppe Bellusci will deservedly get the credit, Taylor should also be praised.

  Effective ClearancesDuels WonInterceptions WonAerials WonDribblesTotal CrossesAccurate CrossesTackles WonMins Played
Charlie Taylor 6 7 4 1 3 2 0 2 90

His crossing accuracy of 36 per cent is the highest of any Leeds player to make play more than three crosses this season. But against Middlesbrough that percentage fell to zero, as Leeds defended for all their worth in the second half and ultimately came away with the victory.

  Crossing Accuracy
Charlie Taylor 36%

The performance showed that as exciting as Taylor is going forward, he also offers brilliant defensive support down Leeds’ left-side and despite his inexperience his presence means the departure of Warnock has not been felt.

The simple fact is: Leeds have a new left-back hero, and week in, week out, he should be taking a bow.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch