Leeds: Phil Hay believes club view Diogo Monteiro similarly to Wilfried Gnonto
Phil Hay believes that Leeds United view Diogo Monteiro like Wilfried Gnonto as he talked up the youngster’s first-team prospects.
The Lowdown: Leeds laying the foundations
While the headlines will be dominated by the arrivals of Weston McKennie, Maximilian Wober and Georginio Rutter last month, Leeds also managed to complete a shrewd deal for Monteiro on deadline day.
Leeds managed to prise the 18-year-old away from Swiss outfit Servette, where he was just starting to play first-team football despite his age, which points to the exciting project on offer at Elland Road.
It’s no surprise Monteiro was keen to make the switch, as it’s very obvious Jesse Marsch will hand young players first-team chances if they are seen to be good enough, with the likes of Gnonto, Crysencio Summerville and Sam Greenwood all having racked up decent minutes under the American.
The Latest: Monteiro one for the future
Hay has revealed on The Phil Hay Show that Leeds see Monteiro as a player who could play in the first team if necessary, although he will initially be playing for the Under-21s.
He said: “I think they see him in both the way they saw Gnonto initially – as in he needs time to develop, [is] a long-term signing and everything else; but I think they also look at Monteiro and think that he’s somebody who could develop very, very quickly and could probably push himself into first-team contention very, very quickly.”
Will Leeds avoid relegation?
The Verdict: Marsch could soon make further changes
Since Jesse Marsch took over from Marcelo Bielsa, he has wasted no time in trying to put his own stamp on the club, having brought in players from America as well as those from the Red Bull Group to try and help him implement his own style.
Also, he appears to be a lot more willing to rely on youth, with Bielsa failing to hand Summerville meaningful minutes, which saw him ask for a loan away from the club, whereas Marsch has handed him 15 appearances in the league this season – albeit with the Dutchman having developed in the interim.
Therefore, if Monteiro can impress and settle into the club very quickly at youth level, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he is handed some sort of first-team minutes in the second half of the season, especially if Leeds continue to struggle at the back, as they have done so far, conceding 33 goals – the third-highest total in the top flight this term.