Graeme Souness makes Leeds United quip amid praise for Marcelo Bielsa's squad in Covid battle

Graeme Souness heaped praise on Leeds United following a thrilling 3-2 win over West Ham.

By Joe Urquhart
Sunday, 16th January 2022, 7:05 pm
Updated Sunday, 16th January 2022, 7:08 pm

A hat-trick from Jack Harrison lifted the Whites to a vital three points against the Hammers at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon in Premier League action.

Leeds moved themselves nine points clear of the bottom three with the victory, easing relegation fears in LS11 amid Marcelo Bielsa's ongoing injury crisis.

Harrison struck twice in the first half while West Ham replied through Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals.

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Leeds United celebrate at West Ham. Pic: Getty

The winger had the final say with a dinked finish on the hour as Mateusz Klich saw a fourth Leeds goal ruled out by VAR for offside.

Souness - who has been mixed in his appraisal this season - complimented the Elland Road outfit for their approach and style of play under their head coach.

“They’re my favourite team to watch. Man City are great but Leeds are a tremendous watch," Souness told Sky Sports post-match.

"They are honest to a man. The manager won't have it. It goes back to him. He won't have it in training. If you know anything - or even a little about football - you want them in the Premier League.

“If I lived anywhere in Yorkshire, I’d buy a season ticket."

Leeds were without 10 players for the trip to face the Hammers despite the return of Pascal Struijk and Rodrigo to the matchday squad.

Bielsa also lost Adam Forshaw and Junior Firpo in the first half which meant academy stars Lewis Bate and Leo Hjelde were given top flight debuts from the bench.

Souness paid tribute to the Whites for battling on amid the recent controversy caused by the Premier League granting Arsenal a Covid postponement request.

The Gunners were due to take on Tottenham Hotspur in a North London Derby on Sunday but the fixture was called off late on after Mikel Arteta's side cited a lack of available players.

“Going back to where we started today,” Souness said. “When you asked about Arsenal, and should the game have been called off, what has that game said about that team, Leeds.

"Look at their bench and the age of them all. What a message that sends out to the rest of the Premier League."

Former Leeds striker Robbie Keane echoed his fellow pundit's thoughts whilst picking out one of United's youngsters.

“It is a great opportunity for [the] young kids,” he said. “Just a little mention, the young lad Bate who got taken off, before that, he was actually playing very, very well.

“Nothing to be ashamed of there, absolutely not. That was more of a tactical situation, bringing a bit more experience on. He’s got a very, very bright future, nothing to be ashamed of there.”