Leeds United’s incredibly unfortunate record with injuries this season has exacerbated this week with confirmation that both Stuart Dallas and Liam Cooper have been ruled out until the new year.
That the Whites have managed to sustain a genuine promotion charge this season is verging on staggering. Injuries have plagued the club on what feels like a weekly basis, and the latest setbacks concern captain Cooper and Dallas, a player who was already filling in to cover injuries at full-backs.
When the players who are covering injuries are also getting injured the situation becomes precarious to say the least.
Surely some dark arts at work? Well, the superstitious-minded analysts may be inclined to think that Bielsa did something in a past life which is coming back to haunt him, but a more logical view would acknowledge the intensity of Leeds’ pre-season training regime and Bielsa’s notoriously gruelling methods as determining factors.
Whilst there is no doubt that Bielsa’s methods are part of his genius and have turned Leeds into a fitter and markedly improved machine, the drawback is evident in a frightening injury list.
Games come thick and fast in the Championship and Leeds are already attempting to get by with a small squad, something which Bielsa has made no secret of preferring, but a lack of genuine depth has not derailed their promotion bid, yet.
Nobody likes to abandon their principles but, if Bielsa wants to achieve Leeds’ ultimate aim and write himself into club folkore for eternity, that’s something which he must strongly consider doing.
The January transfer window is less than a month away from re-opening, so it’s about time Bielsa considered making at least two additions to ensure that his paper-thin squad does not suffer from burnout or, worse still, a complete lack of options in the midst of an injury crisis.
2019 will be a massive year for Leeds United, and Bielsa’s transfer policy could be the difference between promotion and failure.
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