‘Weston McKennie is out of his depth’ – USMNT star told ‘game passes him by’ at Leeds amid Premier League struggles
- American joined on loan in January
- Locked in a relegation battle
- Not offering enough to the cause
WHAT HAPPENED? The United States international was a marquee addition at Elland Road during the January transfer window, with the 24-year-old midfielder taken on a short-term loan from Serie A giants Juventus. That deal includes the option for a permanent transfer to be pushed through, but McKennie has been finding the going tough in England – alongside many of his current team-mates – and finds himself locked in a relegation dogfight.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Ex-Whites defender Newsome has told BBC Radio Leeds of those failing to live up to expectations during a testing campaign in West Yorkshire: “[Rasmus] Kristensen, he’s been brought in, he’s got so many stats of assists and goals – I think he struggles, he really struggles in the Premier League. [Marc] Roca, he’s not set the world on fire. McKennie, the game passes him by, he’s out of his depth. [Georginio] Rutter, that’s a head-scratcher for me. You don’t spend £35 million on potential. Potential is Willy Gnonto, £5m, hits the ground running and all of a sudden he is worth a lot of money.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: McKennie has taken in 16 appearances for Leeds so far, but is still waiting on his first goal for the club and has been unable to make the desired impact alongside fellow countrymen Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams – with the latter currently nursing an untimely injury.
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WHAT NEXT? Leeds’ struggles as a collective have resulted in another managerial change being considered, with Javi Gracia’s position now under serious threat as the Whites – who have already parted company with American coach Jesse Marsch this season – prepare to send an SOS call to ex-England boss Sam Allardyce.