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Alex Mowatt’s Leeds United problem in a nutshell?

Elland Road Revie Stand

Leeds United’s Alex Mowatt has struggled for form this season.

Leeds United star Alex Mowatt has struggled to reach his top form this season, prompting plenty of questions from fans and pundits alike over his inclusion in the first-team.

The 20-year-old made his first-team debut for Leeds in 2013 and won the club’s Young Player of the Year award at the end of the campaign, an impressive achievement.

Under former boss Neil Redfearn last season, Mowatt more than established himself as a first-teamer – he became an integral part of the team and scored an impressive nine goals.

With many speculating of a potential big-money Premier League bid during the summer, Leeds fans were delighted to have held on to him and looked forward to seeing him develop under Uwe Rosler.

However, his performance levels have declined under the former Brentford boss and in the recent defeat to Birmingham City, Mowatt looked off the pace and simply not good enough to compete.

What has happened to the talented midfielder? Well, similarly to Jack Wilshere at Arsenal, Mowatt seems to be facing the difficult prospect of struggling to nail down a natural position.

Rosler has on a number of occasions adopted a 4-3-3 system, placing the former Leeds U18 captain as an advancing midfielder with Stuart Dallas acting as an option in a wide, attacking position.

As such, Mowatt has been caught out too high up the pitch when possession is lost and unable to contribute defensively, while also being totally reliant on his midfielders to supply him with the ball.

During his and Leeds’ wonderful run of form during the spring time earlier this year, Mowatt played as a deep-lying playmaker and his passing ability and wonderful link-up play shone through.

To get the best out of him, he needs the ball with options aplenty in-front of him – not behind him or sideways where the Yorkshire outfit are unlikely to hurt their opponents.

The international break should give Rosler time to work out his side’ shortcomings - with a failure to do so likely to cost him his job before we even reach the busy and demanding festive period.

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