Adrian Clarke looks at key tactical points and players who can be decisive in Matchweek 22.
McKennie should be perfectly suited to Leeds United’s style of play under Jesse Marsch thanks to his dynamic and energetic nature.
The 24-year-old is on loan from Juventus until the end of the season and is likely to form a partnership with fellow US international Tyler Adams in central midfield.
Although McKennie played in a narrow role off the right against England at the FIFA World Cup 2022, both he and Adams were extremely impressive in the goalless draw.
They disrupted attacks, played with great quality and made life uncomfortable for England.
McKennie will also offer Marsch plenty of versatility, having played as a central defender, full-back, a No 10 and out wide.
McKennie isn't a prolific goalscorer, but he will make runs into the penalty area to get on the end of crosses.
He scored nine Serie A goals in 46 starts for Juventus, mostly with his head.
Standing at 6ft 1in, McKennie offers Leeds an additional threat in the air.
Marsch’s side have not had a lot of success from crosses in open play this season, with only two sides having fewer headed shots on target than Leeds.
|Headed shots on target||Succ. Open-play crosses|
*ahead of Matchweek 22
McKennie’s presence will bolster their attacking options from midfield.
Adams is yet to score and just three goals have come from central midfield so far, via Marc Roca, Brenden Aaronson and Sam Greenwood.
In 2021/22, McKennie’s finishing was efficient for Juventus. His goals-per-shots-on-target ratio was 0.6, one of the best returns in the division.
|Player||Goals/shots on target|
|Federico Di Francesco||0.63|
|Marten de Roon||0.60|
McKennie is not the type of midfielder who will make 50 or more passes per match with an accuracy in excess of 90 per cent.
He is more of an all-action type player, who is technically strong enough to perform at Premier League level.
Alongside Adams, he will be quick to pressure opponents, fly into tackles and pick up second balls, as well as join in attacks.
.@USMNT teammates @WMckennie and @tyler_adams14 are reunited at @LUFC! 🤍 pic.twitter.com/nPo9NlFlkH— Premier League (@premierleague) February 3, 2023
McKennie has all the attributes to be a huge hit at Leeds.
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Part 3: How Fernandez will unlock Chelsea's attacking potential
Part 4: How Dyche's direct approach can guide Everton to safety