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Talking Tactics

Rutter can be Leeds' very own Firmino

Adrian Clarke 27 Jan 2023
Rutter, Leeds

Adrian Clarke explains how the January signing is similar in style to Liverpool's Brazilian

Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 22.

Georginio Rutter (LEE)

Club-record signing Rutter is an exciting striker, who should fit in well with Leeds United's high-octane tactical approach.

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Out of possession, the 20-year-old Frenchman, who has played alongside goalkeeper Illan Meslier for his nation's youth teams, is likely to be a tremendous asset.

He is hardworking and excellent at regaining the ball, so he will only augment Jesse Marsch's ferocious pressing game.

Leeds average the lowest "passes per defensive action" in the division, with 9.8. "PPDA" means how many passes they allow the opposition to have from within 40 yards of their goal before they commit to a defensive action.

They have also recovered possession 110 times inside the final third this season. Only Manchester City, with 129, can claim more regains in that advanced area of the pitch.

Leeds really are one of the best pressing teams in the Premier League, and Rutter's addition looks a perfect fit.

In Germany, Rutter has been compared with Roberto Firmino, who also moved to the Premier League from Hoffenheim, for his sterling defensive efforts further upfield.

So, when he features in Leeds' starting XI, the team should be able to continue their aggressive way of playing.

Plenty of skills

Rutter works hard but also has plenty of flair when he needs to attack.

He regularly drifts wide and from those positions he loves to use his skills to get beyond his marker.

The 20-year-old has quick feet and terrific balance, regularly unlocking opposition defences with clever footwork.

Bayern Munich pair Alphonso Davies and Leroy Sane are the only players in Germany's top flight to have attempted more dribbles.

Rutter is in the 99th percentile for dribbles, completing an average of 2.57 per 90 minutes.

Most Bundesliga dribbles per match
2022/23 Dribbles/match
Alphonso Davies 2.2
Leroy Sane 2.2
Georginio Rutter 2.1
Jude Bellingham 2.1
Chidera Ejuke 2.1

When Rutter plays alongside other rising stars in Wilfried Gnonto or Luis Sinisterra, Leeds will offer plenty going forward.

Finding his way 

It would be unrealistic to expect Rutter to score an avalanche of goals between now and the end of the season.

He is a two-footed finisher and useful in the air, but the striker is yet to prove himself as a prolific scorer.

Last season, he found the back of the net eight times, at a rate of one every 200.5 minutes, an outstanding return.

However, in 2022/23, Rutter scored only twice in 15 Bundesliga appearances prior to his move.

With proven goalscorers such as Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo possibly ahead of him in the pecking order, Rutter may need to be patient for his chance.

But having impressed on debut in Leeds' 3-1 win at Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup on Saturday, expect him to showcase his wonderful skills when his chances do come.

Also in this series

Part 1: Trossard's game an ideal fit for Arsenal
Part 3: How Sarabia will give Wolves attack cutting edge

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