When you consider just how many injury problems that Marcelo Bielsa has had to deal with at Elland Road this season, it is remarkable how Leeds United were able to sustain a push for automatic promotion for so long in the Championship.
Although losing the likes of Kemar Roofe, Patrick Bamford and Pablo Hernandez at different points of the year has been far from ideal for the Whites, it could be argued that they have suffered more from having to continuously make alterations to their back-line.
Having spent a reported fee of £3m to bring in left-back Barry Douglas last summer, Bielsa was hoping that the Scotland international could use his experience of winning the second tier title with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2018 to drive Leeds to a top-two finish.
However, despite making a bright start to his career at Elland Road, the 29-year-old suffered the first of three injury setbacks in October with his latest issue ruling him out for the rest of the season (via Sky Sports).
In the absence of Douglas, Bielsa decided to play Ezgjan Alioski at full-back who impressed in this makeshift role before suffering the same fate as his team-mate during a clash with Brentford on Easter Monday.
The Argentine’s troubles were then compounded further when Stuart Dallas hobbled off whilst playing in last week’s draw with Aston Villa yet he is now expected to return for the play-offs after escaping serious injury (via the Yorkshire Evening Post).
With the left-back position at Leeds clearly up for grabs, Bielsa should consider promoting Clarke Oduor from the youth academy in the near future.
An exciting young prospect who can operate in several different positions, the Kenyan has been extremely impressive for the Whites’ under-23 outfit this season.
An ever-present for Carlos Corberan’s side, Oduor’s domineering presence was one of the key reasons for why they were able to secure the Professional Development League North title in March and is seemingly destined for big things over the next few years.
Although it would be naive to suggest that the 19-year-old should be brought in to play in the play-offs, there is no reason why he cannot become the latest Thorp Arch graduate to feature for the first-team during the 2019/20 campaign, especially if he can continue to hone his skills as a wing-back.
Excited for his future, Whites fans? Want to see him given a real chance? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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