Weston McKennie: Leeds United’s American star has Premier League future in his own hands

By FPL360


On loan from Juve 

Weston McKennie was supposed to become the final puzzle piece in Jesse Marsch’s midfield. A midfielder, who was supposed to play next to his compatriots Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams, completing an all-American core at Leeds United. But McKennie got just 33 minutes in a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest. Marsch was sacked by Leeds shortly after as the Peacocks were sucked deep in the relegation battle. 

Marsch’s departure also raised questions about the three Americans in the squad. But while Aaronson came off the bench, interim manager Michael Skubala started McKennie and Adams together as a double-pivot in a classic 4-2-3-1 formation against Man United on Wednesday. It was the first time McKennie and Adams started together at the club level as Leeds threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2. On paper, the two midfielders should have had plenty of chemistry. After all, Mckennie and Adams have featured in 24 US men’s national team games together. The only player McKennie has played together with more often for the US is Christian Pulisic (overview). 

Player Comparison

Leeds United

Leeds United


Market Value


Central Midfield


Defensive Midfield

Jun 30, 2023

Contract until

Jun 30, 2027

Full Player Comparison

Despite that familiarity with Adams, you could tell that McKennie will still need some time to be integrated into Leeds’ squad. The American completed just 20 of his 31 passes (61% pass completion) and 75 total actions completed just 39% successfully—McKennie’s career average is 60.9% for 71.31 actions per 90 minutes. Playing in a new league, in a new environment under a different manager than the one who has signed you is, of course, tricky, and McKennie will need time to adapt to the unique situation.

McKennie to stay at Leeds? – Record deal hinges on Premier League survival

McKennie also stressed post-game that some of his difficulties in his first game had nothing to do with Marsch being let go just one game into his Leeds career. “I don’t think it was really that tricky,” McKennie told Stadium Astro after the match. “I mean obviously every player on the team has went through some type of phase where a manager has changed, and you have to have a quick turnaround.” McKennie, however, was quick to add that Leeds have to rally and need to get the job done without Marsch.

That includes moving the focus to the weekend when Leeds United once again face their rivals Man United this time at home at Elland Road. “Hopefully, we will get all three points there,” McKennie said. Leeds United have collected just 19 points from 21 games this season and are just one point ahead of Everton, who sit in 18th place, just below the dropline. Another result against Man United will be vital for Leeds’ survival in the Premier League. Premier League survival, after all, will also determine McKennie’s future. 

Leeds paid €1.25 million to Juventus for an initial loan but have an option to make the deal permanent for €33m, plus an additional €7m in add-ons. The entire package would make McKennie the most expensive player in Leeds’ club history (overview). Whether McKennie becomes the club’s record signing will be in his own hands. The 24-year-old will have to build on his first outing against Man United as he is, without a doubt, a vital piece in the club’s effort to survive in the Premier League.  

United‘s record signings”>

Fowler, Aaronson & Co. – Leeds United‘s record signings

13 Robbie Fowler | Signed from Liverpool in 2001/02 | Fee: €16.8m

&copy imago images

Last updated: January 28, 2023

12 Tyler Adams | Signed from RB Leipzig 2022/23 | Fee: €17m

&copy TM/imago images

11 Hélder Costa | Signed from Wolves in 2020/21 | Fee: €17.7m

&copy imago images

10 Robbie Keane | Signed from Inter Milan in 2001/02 | Fee: €18m

&copy imago images

9 Raphinha | Signed from Stade Rennais in 2020/21 | Fee: €18.6m

&copy imago images

8 Diego Llorente | Signed from Real Sociedad in 2020/21 | Fee: €20m

&copy imago images

7 Jean-Kévin Augustin | Signed from RB Leipzig in 2020/21 | Fee: €21m

&copy imago images

6 Luis Sinisterra | Signed from Feyenoord in 2022/23 | Fee: €26m

&copy IMAGO

5 Rio Ferdinand | Signed from West Ham in 2000/01 | Fee: €26m

&copy imago images

4 Georginio Rutter | Signed from Hoffenheim in 2022/23 | Fee: €28m

&copy IMAGO

Deal can grow to €37m

3 Daniel James | Signed from Man United in 2021/22 | Fee: €29.1m

&copy imago images


2 Rodrigo | Signed from Valencia in 2020/21 | Fee: €30m

&copy imago images

1 Brenden Aaronson | Signed from RB Salzburg in 2022/23 | Fee: €32.84m

&copy imago images




Source link

Share This Article