Weston McKennie is now, officially, a member of Leeds United. He teams up with fellow US internationals Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson under the leadership of Jesse Marsch. The deal is a loan until the end of the season with an option to buy for the Elland Road club.

Leeds paid just $1.5 million to loan McKennie from Juventus. However, the permanent option at the end of the loan is around $37 million if Leeds avoid relegation and McKennie plays 10 or more times. McKennie is a natural replacement for Mateusz Klich in the midfield. The Polish international transferred to DC United this January. Although, to be fair, Klich only appeared off the bench in 14 games in the Premier League this season.

That leaves a midfield contingent of Tyler Adams, Marc Roca and Wilfried Gnoto in a more attacking role. McKennie could fill in for any of those three. At the World Cup, he played in a midfield three with Adams and Yunus Musah. Therefore, he is used to playing in a busy midfield. However, at Juventus, he featured out wide on some occassions.

Whatever his role at Leeds, Weston McKennie enters at a high pressure time for the club. Still alive in the FA Cup, Leeds is back in the bottom half of the table fighting for survival. Currently, Leeds is in 15th, one point above 18th spot Bournemouth. Leeds does have a game in hand.

Leeds has 3 pivotal games when Weston McKennie arrives

McKennie is likely to make his Leeds United debut as soon as this Sunday’s game against Nottingham Forest (live on USA Network and fuboTV) at 9am ET. The talented American midfielder has been given shirt number 28.

Following the relegation battle between Nottingham Forest and Leeds, the Yorkshire clubs faces back-to-back games against Manchester United on Feb. 8 and Feb. 12.

Jesse Marsch will hope McKennie can make an instant impact. Outside of the United games, three out of the next five games are not only possible to win, but they may be necessary to win. Nottingham Forest is three points ahead of Leeds in the table. The two games after the United home and away are at Goodison and home to Southampton. Those are the bottom two teams in the league. That presents a major opportunity to get six points and get some breathing room from the bottom half of the table.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Independent Photo Agency