Even though De Bock arrived during the January transfer widow, there was still plenty of expectations for the left back that arrived from Club Brugge. De Bock had played in the Champions League and had been part of a squad that had also won the Belgian First Division.
Fans were hoping and expecting a better replacement for Charlie Taylor, a former Player of the Year that had left Leeds and transferred to Burnley in the summer in rather controversial fashion. The club loaned Cameron Borthwick-Jackson from Manchester United back in August, but he hadn’t worked out at all. In place of a natural left sided defender, Leeds had used Vurnon Anita, Stuart Dallas and Gaetano Berardi at left back, with Berardi as the only true “defender” used in place.
De Bock having a grim time on the left. Derby play through him but overhit a cross with players waiting in the box. 1-1 on 50 mins. #lufc— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) February 21, 2018
In a word, bad. Laurens De Bock had a few rough outings in his first few matches for Leeds, but against Derby County, his performance was especially terrible. He was set to the bench after his poor match, but was given another chance a few weeks later. Once again he was underwhelming, on the road at Reading FC, and after getting an unspecified injury, he didn’t make the matchday squad for the rest of the season.
He barely played for Club Brugge in the first part of their season, but even if match fitness had been an issue, he should have up to speed after a few weeks. And even after he had been in the side for awhile, he still wasn’t able to fully integrate into the team and looked out of step and made simple errors.
Season Grade: D
You would have expected a player with the experience and pedigree of De Bock’s to walk into a team in the Championship and at least play decently, but he wasn’t even able to do that. His poor performances were made even more obvious and glaring after Tom Pearce put in some good matches near the end of the season after getting his first start against Sheffield Wednesday at home. De Bock has a long contract, but perhaps a return to Belgium could be in the works. Either way, while the transfer fee wasn’t extremely large, his wages will still be on the books at Elland Road for awhile unless he’s moved.