It didn’t take Leeds United manager Garry Monk long to decide that Tounami Diagouraga was not going to be playing an important role in his side’s quest for promotion. The 29-year-old started Monk’s first game in charge of The Whites, the 3-0 opening day defeat to Queens Park Rangers, but that was his only action in the entire first half of the season.
Though while it would be a little overdramatic to suggest he is now showing Leeds what they are missing, Diagouraga has certainly had an impact since Ipswich Town handed him an escape in January.
Alongside fellow loanee Emyr Huws, the rangy midfielder has added an expansive passing range and energy to a previously stale midfield while offering a sheet of steel in front of the defence. In his 11 games under Mick McCarthy, Ipswich have only conceded 13 goals and three of those to the league’s most prolific attack, Fulham.
As such, it would be no surprise if Ipswich were to attempt to sign him permanently in the summer. His forward-thinking distribution is proving to be just what McCarthy’s hitherto unadventurous side was crying out for.
However, this does not mean that Leeds will be losing too many sleepless nights about letting Diagouraga go. Despite only joining from Brentford last January, Monk has a number of central midfielders capable of doing a similar job and, in truth, it's creativity Leeds are lacking rather than stability.
Having said that, a player with his considered use of the ball could still come in handy to a side who have picked up a rather unhelpful habit of giving away possession of late. Diagouraga may at least have offered an element of composure in midfield.