Leeds United ambassador Noel Whelan believes that the potential return from injury of Dan James and Patrick Bamford can be ‘massive’ for the Whites.
The Lowdown: Leeds’ injury nightmare
Marcelo Bielsa’s men were beaten 4-1 at home to Arsenal on Saturday evening as their Premier League struggles this season continue.
While Leeds deserve some criticism for their performances, they are currently battling a huge injury crisis, with key figures such as Kalvin Phillips sidelined.
However, there is hope that James and Bamford could be available for the trip to Liverpool on Boxing Day, which would come as a big boost for Bielsa and co.
The Latest: Whelan positive about return of duo
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan admitted that it would be huge to have the attacking duo fit for another tough league assignment away to a title-challenging Liverpool side at Anfield. He said:
“Getting any of these more experienced players back is going to be a massive plus for the Leeds United fans and the players.
“You need your best players against the best teams in the league. Liverpool and Man City are the two best sides in the league.
“Their best assets are clinical passing and lethal finishing – so having your best players there to combat that is crucial. We saw what happened against Man City when we allowed them to play their game.
“We can’t sit back for 90 minutes. Leeds must take the game to Liverpool. That’s how to get the best out of the likes of Raphinha, Bamford and James.”
The Verdict: Would be huge for Whites
Leeds desperately need their injury problems to ease before they get embroiled in a genuine relegation fight, and the potential return of James and Bamford for Boxing Day could make a huge difference.
The Whites have looked lacking in attacking quality in recent weeks, scoring just 18 goals in as many league games this season, but the potentially returning duo could inject some much-needed quality in the final third.
Granted, James has only scored one goal and set up one for Leeds this season, but his pace is a constant threat, while Bamford’s record of 17 league goals last season speaks for itself. Whelan is right; their presence could be crucial at Anfield if they are fit enough to feature.
In other news, Leeds have been given a potential January transfer boost. Read more here.
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