Saiz was bought this offseason for an estimated €3.5 million, and was brought in to become the star attacking midfielder that Leeds so desperately needed. Alongside Pablo Hernandez and Ezgjan Alioski, Saiz completed what looked to be one of the most talented midfields in the Championship. With Chris Wood as the striker up top, Leeds United truly looked like a team that could fight for promotion to the Premier League.
We've got Saiz, Samuel Saiz, I just don't think you understand, he came from sunny Spain to take leeds up again we've got Samuel Saiz pic.twitter.com/XsMScsOXYi— James ⚽️ (@james___lufc) December 19, 2017
In his debut, Saiz scored a hat trick against Port Vale, which many thought was a sign of what was to come. Saiz would go on to play quite well for the first half of the season, scoring 9 goals and registering 5 assists in 21 matches for all competitions. However, during an infamous FA Cup match against Newport County, Saiz spit on an opposing player, earning him six game ban. When he finally returned, Leeds’ season was completely derailed, and he failed to score a goal for the remainder of the year. At the end of the season, there were several matches where Saiz disappeared completely, making no impact whatsoever on the game. Saiz finished the season with 77.2% of his passes being completed, good for fourth best among Leeds’ center midfielders with at least nine starts. He finished with seven total assists, second on the team behind Pablo Hernandez, who started 6 more games than Saiz.
Final Season Grade: C+
I went back and forth between a B and a C, but settled with a C because of how badly Leeds and Saiz were once he returned from suspension. He was one of Leeds’ best players during their excellent start to the season, but Leeds took only two points from the six matches that he was suspended from. Additionally, Saiz’s personality often stuck out in all the wrong ways this year, as he frequently argued with the refs and his teamates, and even threw a tantrum after being taken off. It would be wrong to knock his attitude without noting that he did donate £25,000 to Toby Nye’s cancer treatment, which is an incredibly generous act. Though Saiz certainly had his ups and downs this year, he will likely have at least one more year to prove that he can be a difference maker.
What would you rate Saiz?
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