Leeds United have done incredibly well to cope with their injury problems so far this season, but their resilience was finally broken on Saturday afternoon as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Birmingham City at Elland Road.
Marcelo Bielsa’s decision to hold off on a handful of signings during the summer in favour of keeping his squad as a tightly-knit group appeared to backfire recently when a handful of players fell victim to injury problems.
The likes of Patrick Bamford, Kemar Roofe and Pablo Hernandez were all ruled out within a short space of time but, despite the concerns of some supporters, the Whites have coped well with the growing injury list and they remain top of the pile after 9 fixtures.
But a recent update on the club’s website makes for unfortunate viewing as both Roofe and Hernandez will remain sidelined for two-three and four-five weeks respectively.
Although Hernandez’s absence represents a huge blow for the club as a whole, it has given summer signing Harrison (valued at £3.15 million by Transfermarkt) an opportunity to showcase his potential on the right-wing and, despite a slow start, he is beginning to impress.
Plenty was expected of Harrison when he arrived at Elland Road from Manchester City, but he looked a level below what is required after coming on at half-time against Swansea City in August.
Fast-forward a few weeks and Harrison looks like a new player with the confidence and technical ability to become an integral part of Leeds’ promotion push.
With Hernandez ruled out for another month at the very least, Harrison has a dream opportunity to cement his name on Bielsa’s team sheet but he will need to step up another level in order to prove he has what it takes to keep the Spanish veteran on the substitutes bench upon his return to fitness.
The 21-year-old’s strike against Millwall provided a brief glimpse of what he can provide at Elland Road and with Hernandez sidelined he must showcase that level of quality on a consistent basis if he wants to prove himself to Bielsa.
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