Leeds United's top 10 highest-rated players of the season so far: Marco Silvestri sits 5th but Sam Byram misses out

Leeds United

Do these ratings accurately reflect each players' performances so far this season?

With the busy Christmas period in full swing, and with the January window looming, Leeds United manager Steve Evans may be looking for as much information as possible to help him work out what is likely to help his side capitalise on their solid recent run, and perhaps, compete in the top half of the Championship table.

With that in mind, here is a look at Leeds' top ten players based on their Whoscored rating, and while most of the names included will not surprise many Whites fans, there are a couple of interesting omissions from the list:

10. Tom Adeyemi (6.69)

The on-loan midfielder provided the steel that Leeds' midfield has been lacking in recent years. As well as providing support to the back four, Adeyemi's energy has seen him prove a threat in attack also. He bagged an excellent header to open the scoring in the win over Derby in August, and doubled his tally with what would prove to be the winning goal against Hull at the start of December. 

9. Chris Wood (6.7)

Having moved to Elland Road for around £3m in the summer (via Yorkshire Evening Post), the New Zealander was always going to be under extreme pressure to deliver. Although he is United's top goalscorer this season with seven goals - already, just three behind Mirco Antenucci's total of 10 from last season - Wood has come in for criticism for missing several relatively simple chances. Had he taken all the chances that had come his way, he would surely be much higher. He has managed two assists this season, also. 

8. Stuart Dallas (6.8)

Given United's notorious struggles with wingers in recent years, it is no surprise that the other of Leeds' big money summer arrivals - having signed from Brentford for around £1.3m (via Sky Sports) - has already cemented himself as one of the more popular players among supporters. His four assists - the most of any Whites player this season - probably means that the Northern Irishman deserves to be higher on the list. 

7. Gaetano Berardi (6.83)

Apart from the red card against Rotherham, Berardi has enjoyed an impressive spell this season. Before he sustained an ankle injury against Charlton, his work-rate helped to justify Sam Byram's continued exile from the first-team, and there is no doubt that he will be a big miss over the coming weeks.

6. Giuseppe Bellusci (6.83)

Like Berardi, the Italian is slowly achieving cult-hero status at Elland Road, as while a mistake never seems too far away when Bellusci is around, there are a lot of qualities that suggest that he could soon be playing at the highest level. His composure on the ball can sometimes get him into trouble, but his confidence to play out of defence will help the side play a more attractive brand of football in time.

5. Marco Silvestri (6.88)

Like many of the players in the squad, Silvestri has come in for a fair amount of criticism since his arrival last summer. But, his recent form has been sensational. His shot-stopping protected a point against Charlton, and helped the Whites hold onto their lead against Preston last time out. He certainly deserves to be higher on the list, and undoubtedly will be, should he maintain his form into the new year.

4. Liam Bridcutt (6.92)

With only five games under his belt, it is difficult to know for sure whether Bridcutt's form is that of a loan player striving to impress either Evans or the manager of his parent club, Sam Allardyce, or whether he is genuinely a top player. Leeds have conceded just four goals in the games he's played, and that could well be down to the protection he provides to the back four. His ability to win challenges and his composure when opponents are around him makes it imperative that Evans looks to extend his deal in January. 

3. Liam Cooper (7.00)

Leeds' vice-captain appears to be thriving under the pressure of knowing that if he fails to maintain a high standard, Evans has two other senior options in Bellusci and Sol Bamba that can take his place. In recent weeks, he has complemented Bellusci's flair with a much more no-nonsense approach which has helped the side become more difficult to beat.

2. Charlie Taylor (7.25)

Having reached the age of 20, and having failed to break into a Leeds side that was starting to look towards giving their academy prospects first-team chances, it appeared that Taylor's loan to Fleetwood in 2013 was an opportunity to prove to clubs at that level that they should sign him, should Leeds let him go. However, his impressive form at Highbury led to a new contract at Elland Road, and since then, he has proved that Leeds were wrong for even considering not offering him a new deal. He has been electric during this campaign, dealing with many of the best right wingers the Championship has to offer. Such is the confidence in Taylor's ability it would seem, that Leeds don't have another senior option in their squad whose favoured position is left-back.

1. Sol Bamba (7.29)

The captain is the kind of influential leader that is capable of galvanising the squad in difficult times. Although he has been out of the side since the emphatic victory over Huddersfield in November, you get the feeling that he has been as important a part of Leeds' recent run as any player out on the pitch, such is his influence. His return to the side will be a major boost to the team, and his form may well prove the pivotal factor in how high Leeds can go in 2016. 

While many of the names in the top ten are largely deserving of the recognition, there are a couple of players that could argue they deserve to be included also.

Alex Mowatt (14th place in the ratings) is arguably the big name that jumps out. The midfielder's stunning strike against Huddersfield last month sealed an important win, but it was his even better goal against Cardiff just a few days previously that represented a major turning point in Leeds' season. The winner against the Bluebirds ended United's long wait for a victory at Elland Road, and would have released the pressure on the rest of the squad. Not only did it provide a much-needed win, but it also displayed a lack of fear on Mowatt's part to try something ambitious when the team were really up against it.

Another name that is unlucky to miss out is Lewis Cook (11th). The 18-year-old continues to impress, and show that he has potential to reach the very top. However, his lack of goals is something that he will be looking to rectify in the near future. 

Finally, Sam Byram (12th) is unsurprisingly missing from the top ten, but is perhaps still unlucky. The right-back was understandably out of form at the start of the campaign, having been deployed in an unusual position, and with a contract situation that continues to dominate conversation at Elland Road. But his recent performances have started to resemble the Sam Byram that Leeds fans will be hoping signs a new deal. 

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