If you were to tell a Leeds United supporter two weeks ago that their final day clash with Ipswich Town would end up being a meaningless fixture, they would have understandably been puzzled.
However, with the Whites faltering at the final hurdle in their battle with Sheffield United for a top-two position in the Championship, Sunday’s draw at Elland Road with Aston Villa confirmed that in order to achieve promotion this season, Marcelo Bielsa’s side will have to prevail via the play-offs in May.
Although momentum is key heading into this particular knock-out competition, Leeds may benefit more in the long-term if they give one of their most impressive academy products the chance to impress on Sunday.
Having signed for the Whites from York City in 2017, Ryan Edmondson was initially assigned to the club’s under-18 side last season yet a number of impressive performances saw him quickly move up to under-23 level where he has thrived this year.
Under the guidance of head coach Carlos Corberan, the forward’s development as a player has improved considerably as he has become more composed in-front of goal during the current campaign with his 19 goals playing an influential role in helping his side clinch the Premier League Development League North title in March.
After yet another superb outing in the under-23’s 3-2 victory over Coventry City on Monday, it is surely time for Bielsa to consider handing Edmondson his first ever Championship start.
Although the 17-year-old made two brief substitute appearances for the first team in 2018, it is surely worth seeing if he is ready to make the step up in level against a Tractor Boys side who have already been relegated to the Championship.
Having already reaped the rewards from giving the likes of Jack Clarke, Jamie Shackleton and Bailey Peacock-Farrell the chance to prove themselves this season, Bielsa could unearth yet another gem if he is willing to take the risk at the weekend.
What do you think Leeds fans? Should Edmondson start against Ipswich following his recent performances for the U23’s? Or is it still too early to play the 17-year-old? Let us know below.
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