Leeds United's best performers identified in Graham Smyth's average ratings gallery as pair get 7s

Leeds United have reached the March international break sitting 14th in the Premier League thanks to Javi Gracia’s seven points from 12.

The recently-installed head coach has masterminded victories over Southampton and Wolves, along with a hard-fought point against high-flying Brighton, to give the Whites a fighting chance in their relegation battle. It’s been a second successive season of struggle for Leeds, who have often found themselves on the losing side despite being competitive in matches, yet Saturday’s win at Wolves felt hugely significant in their bid to remain a top flight club.

On an individual basis, a number of key players have been missing all too often through injury – as was the case last season – and only a select few have been both consistently available and consistently good. But even at this stage, with plenty of time left in the campaign, some standout performers have emerged as genuine Player of the Season candidates.

The below ranking is put together from the average of the YEP player ratings from each match. Players are rated out of 10 on a game-by-game basis, if they play enough minutes in the match to qualify for a rating. Anyone with an average of seven can be said to have had a good season so far, although context is key, with certain players carrying more expectation due to their experience and pedigree or even the transfer fee paid to bring them to Elland Road.

Another consideration is the suitability of the football being played for an individual’s key traits, or the form of the team when they had the bulk of their minutes. For young players coming off the bench or stepping in for cup ties in a less-than-settled side, there might be a greater difficulty in making an impact worthy of a high rating. Players coming back from injury can struggle to shake off rust initially and Leeds have also discovered that it can take time for signings to get up to speed in the Premier League. Form can fluctuate and a poor collective performance can drag individuals down.

What the ratings show, generally, is a picture of who has impressed and over the course of a season, even up to this point, the team’s most reliable performers tend to make themselves known with the highest averages. It will come as no surprise that Willy Gnonto and Tyler Adams feature so highly after impressive starts to life at Elland Road.

Players must have earned more than five ratings to feature in the below rankings. Those not listed include Leo Hjelde and Joel Robles who each average 7 from their respective pair of appearances, the now on-loan Cody Drameh (6.3 from 3), Dan James (6.4 from 5), Adam Forshaw (6 from 5), Darko Gyabi (6 from 2), Mateo Joseph (6 from 3) and Sonny Perkins (6 from 2).