There’s no doubt that Leeds United are making one of their most convincing pushes for promotion under Marcelo Bielsa this year. But at what cost will this success come at?
The phrase “blood, sweat and tears” fits quite literally into the situation at the West Yorkshire club where the players are being put through their paces under el Loco’s new training regime.
Whether or not the extensive injury list had anything to do with it, there’s no ignoring the fact that their recent dip in form coincided with a number of key first team players missing from the squad; including Pablo Hernandez, Jamie Shackleton, Kemar Roofe, and Patrick Bamford
Although those individuals have now returned, and certainly made an impact (we’re looking at you Kemar Roofe), a new stream of injuries has hit, this time counting Luke Ayling, Gaetano Berardi and Izzy Brown out of proceedings.
It’s difficult to criticise Bielsa for his work at Leeds United. Fans are enjoying watching their team play exquisite football, put in industrious performances week in and week out, and the results are coming because of it.
However, it’s equally tricky to argue that Bielsa’s all out approach is sustainable, and it seems just a couple more injuries could end their fairytale prematurely.
Here are two players that Leeds could really do with keeping fit…
Since making his return to Leeds United, the Polish midfielder has been absolutely sensational.
No midfielder in the Championship has been involved in more goals than Klich this season (10). For a player who isn’t a dedicated attacker, this figure is sensational.
It’s not just his offensive efforts that have Leeds fans excited, though. Klich is renowned for his defensive efforts, and on more than one occasion this season has kept dangerous players in his proverbial back pocket.
To lose this box to box maestro at this point in the season, leaving with them with no real like for like option, would be a huge loss for Bielsa.
Leeds United are one injury away from a defensive meltdown.
With Ayling and Berardi sitting out through injury, Bielsa is already struggling with players who operate in the full-back position.
Indeed, take Douglas out of the equation and Leeds have a real problem on their hands.
A number of players, including Alioski, Shackleton and Dallas, have already taken temporary ownership of the left-back and right-back position in place of the regular starters. None have been particularly effective.
With such great creative and defensive ability, losing Douglas would be very, very costly.