Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate has paid tribute to the strength in depth enjoyed by Championship table-toppers Leeds United, highlighting their ability to keep a ‘really good player’ like Eddie Nketiah on the bench.
For the first time this season, Leeds really cut loose and produced a scoreline to match their domination when a beleaguered Boro arrived at Elland Road on Saturday.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side scored four for the first time during 2019/20 in front of a bouncing home support, Patrick Bamford finding the net early on before Mateusz Klich scored a ruthless brace either side of Helder Costa’s first Championship goal for The Whites.
The fact that Leeds can afford to start with the likes of Gianni Alioski, Barry Douglas and £9 million Tottenham Hotspur signing Jack Clarke on the bench highlights the depth available to Bielsa – a point Woodgate was keen to make after his Middlesbrough team were ripped apart.
“Leeds have improved their squad massively,” the former Leeds defender told the Northern Echo.
“They were able to bring Nketiah on, who’s a really good player. You’ve got Patrick Bamford firing on all cylinders, you’ve got Ben White at the back on loan from Brighton, we haven’t got an on-loan player in, so that says it all really.”
All 11 of Nketiah’s Championship appearances in Leeds colours have come as a substitute so far and he was handed just 15 minutes when Boro came to town.
As such, his lack of starts has raised speculation that Arsenal could recall the England U21 international in January before sending him elsewhere with Bristol City expressing an interest.
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