Leeds United badly miss summer departee Charlie Taylor, according to Yorkshire Evening Post correspondent Phil Hay.
The expert Elland Road observer reported in a column on Tuesday how United can get back on track following three consecutive away defeats that the team must shore up their increasingly vulnerable left-back position.
Leeds signed Cameron Borthwick-Jackson on a season-long loan from Manchester United during the summer but he has found it difficult to force his way into the team.
Gaetano Berardi and Vurnon Anita have been trading the left-back position so far, with the best results secured while the former Newcastle man was in the team.
Hay explained that opponents have targeted Leeds’ left flank as as a weak point, with Sheffield Wednesday pair Ross Wallace and Jack Hunt creating huge pressure on that side in their 3-0 derby win on Sunday.
“Little sympathy exists for Charlie Taylor in these parts but his contentious move from Leeds to Burnley does not change two things about him,” reported Hay. “Firstly, that Taylor in the right frame of mind was a very competent Championship footballer.
“And secondly, that he was a left-back in the truest sense: positionally sound, defensively strong and constantly appearing on the overlap as modern full-backs should.”
Taylor did not just leave Leeds in the summer. He also severed all ties with a fanbase who went from adoring him to thinly-veiled hatred. The turnaround came even before Taylor signed for Burnley for a fee that reportedly secured his boyhood club to a not inconsiderable £7million compensation fee. One of Garry Monk’s final acts as Leeds manager was to reveal that Taylor had refused to play for the team in the final match of last season, in order to remain injury-free before he secured a move to a Premier League club. This was an act of heresy, as far as supporters were concerned. Taylor’s affiliation to the club since the age of eight meant nothing at that point, in the eyes of many. Nevertheless, he is a superior left-back to any of those Thomas Christiansen can call upon, and it is unarguable that Leeds would be a stronger team if he was still at the club.