'I might upset a few here...' - Sky pundit criticises 'over-hyped' Leeds United, Jeff Stelling responds
Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling has hit back at claims from Sky Sports pundit Kris Boyd that Leeds United have been “over-hyped” this season.
The Whites moved into the top half of the table with a stunning 2-1 win over Manchester City on Saturday, and have garnered a reputation for their free-flowing and exhilarating brand of attacking football.
But former Rangers striker Boyd has questioned whether Marcelo Bielsa's side are as special as their acolytes claim they are.
Speaking on Soccer Saturday, he said: “I might upset a few here – I think Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds, they’ve come up and been wonderful, but I think a lot of it is over-hyped as well.
"When you take into consideration what Leeds are spending, there’s a lot of players probably having their best season ever, which is fantastic, but there’s a lot of things pointing to the fact that they might be overachieving.
“All we hear is that Marcelo Bielsa is this master tactician – Chris Wilder did the exact same last season [with Sheffield United].
“When you take into consideration what Leeds are spending, I think they could be doing better.”
Responding to Boyd’s comments, host Jeff Stelling delivered an impassioned defence of the Whites, and argued that their investment in players was far from excessive.
He said: “They’re not spending much. When have they spent big?
"Raphinha cost £17 million. Some of the sides they’re playing against have spent as much on one player as Leeds United have spent on their entire squad.
"They’ve spent just over £100 million on nine players. They’ve not gone out and bought a £50 million player, have they?
"What do you expect them to do, not spend any money and go straight back down again?
"You say they might have done even better, but what about when they’ve gone to Leicester and won, when they’ve gone to Aston Villa and won?
"Haven’t they been brilliant at times?”
Leeds brought in a number of high profile players last summer, the most expensive being was club record signing Rodrigo for a fee of around £27 million.
Aside from the Spain international, no other acquisition cost the Whites more than £18 million.