Marcelo Bielsa appears to have suggested Leif Davis could have a place in Leeds United’s Championship squad moving forward.
Speaking to the media ahead of their weekend clash with Swansea City at Elland Road in their top-of-the-table meeting, the Argentine remained rather coy on whether the youngster would be selected but admitted he had every chance of making the team in the future.
“He was one of the players that had a positive performance in that game. He didn’t make the mistakes he made in previous games. He made corrections,” he was quoted as saying by Leeds Live when asked about his display in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
“Of course he can,” he added when questioned if he could make the league squad.
It has been a rather good week for Davis so far, as he appeared to put in a rather brilliant performance against Stoke City in the League Cup, despite being on the wrong end of a penalty shoot-out.
Although predominantly a left-back, the 19-year-old was utilised as a centre-back alongside Kalvin Phillips in a 4-1-4-1 formation (Leeds Live) and appeared to thrive in the role as he grew into the game.
Data collected by Twitter account LUFCDATA were rather pleased with the statistical analysis of his game, as they seemed to enjoy the results he produced.
Davis made the second-highest number of touches (101), made 72 successful passes, won the ball back for Leeds six times, made four clearances and two tackles. He also managed to block two shots on goal and grab himself an interception. He also proved to be useful in the final third of the pitch as well, as he had one shot on goal and also provided the assist for Helder Costa’s late equaliser as he sent the tie to a penalty shoot-out.
However, it could be a while before the youngster does get a place in the Championship squad as he will have to go up against the likes of Barry Douglas and Ezgjan Alioski on the left, whilst Liam Cooper (who is celebrating a Scotland international call-up), Ben White and Gaetano Berardi will be looking to compete for those places in the centre.
Indeed, overcoming those challenges could be difficult as WhoScored’s detailed analytical breakdown would appear to suggest a fight could be on the teenager’s hands.
Douglas has managed one tackle, 0.3 interceptions and 0.7 clearances in his three Championship outings, whilst Alioski has 1.3 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and one clearance in his four appearances so far.
Cooper and White appear to be Bielsa’s main centre-back pairing at the moment and it is not difficult to envisage why. The club’s skipper has an average of one tackle, one interception and 4.8 clearances per 90 minutes, whilst the on-loan Brighton and Hove Albion defender has 2.6 tackles, 3.4 interceptions and 3.6 clearances to his name after five Championship appearances.
Davis certain appears to have thrown himself into the thoughts of Bielsa after his display against Stoke, although it might be a little difficult to see him being thrown into the limelight of the Championship in the immediate future.
The Elland Road outfit’s defence is doing its job rather well at the moment (having conceded just two goals so far) and may make the Argentine think twice about making what, perhaps, could be unnecessary changes to his backline whilst things are going as well as they can be.
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