Broja is what Saints need – a focal point
Armando Broja had a full debut to remember, taking his chance in the 53rd minute with real aplomb and although the goal will steal the headlines, it will fail to convey how strong his all round play was. In some respects, it was reminiscent of happier times when the likes of Pelle or Lambert led the lines for Saints and whilst it is important not to place too much burden on the young striker to perform, there was a lot to admire about the Slough born striker.
His height definitely posed problems for a Leeds side which lack confidence from set pieces. In the first half alone, he was a focal point for two corners which on another day, would have seen his intelligent flicked headers lead to goals. His aerial presence also brought into play a more direct style and offered McCarthy and the two centre backs an out-ball when under pressure.
Broja is also pacier than he initially appears, with a capacity to unleash deceptively quick bursts of acceleration – this coupled with his height and long legs left opposition defenders with the impression that he was closing them down more quickly than expected. There is a stealthiness to his positioning, evident with the goal where he sat just off the last defender in anticipation of the final pass, which duly arrived from the impressive Nathan Redmond.
Make no mistake, Broja is still raw and far from the finished article, as demonstrated with his failure to repay the favour to Redmond in a chance later on on the second half. After a clever run in behind the Leeds defence, Broja carried the ball well but chose to shoot rather than square the ball to an unmarked Redmond. Yet, his confidence was pleasing and after being rightly critical after his cup performance, Hasenhuttl was effusive in his post match praise for the 20 year old.
Aside from his calm finish against Everton on the opening day, Adam Armstrong has not looked ready for top flight in his performances and Broja showed enough on Saturday to stake his claim to the main striker role. Armstrong and Adams, along with the likes of Redmond, Elyounossi, Stuart Armstrong and Tella can all play valuable roles this season as support strikers or in the number 10 role but what is abundantly clear is that Saints finally have a focal point up top.