Izzy Brown has had a difficult time at Leeds United this season following his summer arrival on loan from Chelsea.
The youngster is yet to make a first-team appearance for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, although it does appear that he is finally on the verge of making one following his lengthy injury layoff.
He has been playing in Leeds’ Under-23 side to rebuild his fitness and get him ready for the demands of playing Championship football, as The Whites continue in their efforts to win promotion to the Premier League.
However, Phil Hay believes the manager may not be fully convinced with the 22-year-old and his time at Elland Road to make an impact is starting to run out.
Speaking on the Inside Elland Road podcast, the Yorkshire Evening Post journalist stated that Brown’s future is doubtful and used Patrick Bamford’s return from injury as an example.
“This has got to be his moment, but I’m yet to be convinced that Bielsa is 100% sold on him,” Hay said on the latest episode of the Inside Elland Road podcast (starts 5:29).
“It was quite telling about a week ago, [Patrick] Bamford was doing the press conference and we were asking why he didn’t play in the Under-23s as Bielsa seems to want everyone to do that before they get back in the first team.
“He said that Bielsa put him through a training session and then said, ‘I don’t want you in the Under-23s, I want you in the first-team and this is your chance to prove you can do it.’
“Bielsa seems to be holding off on Brown for as long as he possibly can. He’s essentially been back, albeit with hamstring problem in-between for around three months now and if he doesn’t make an impact soon he won’t be able to, with games running out.
“It’s still very much in the balance as to whether it’s a good transfer for Leeds or whether they’ve gambled and lost.”
Brown’s time to make an impact at Elland Road is clearly running out and if he does not make an impact in the next couple of games – should he get the opportunity to do so – then he could find it a difficult end to the campaign.
Bielsa is unlikely going to want to change his side too much as they head into the final stretch of the season, especially if they are still competing for a promotion spot to the Premier League.
Understandably, there will be concerns that the 22-year-old is not ready to return just yet, but if he does not make an appearance soon, it would be difficult to see him making a meaningful contribution in the future.
Leeds fans – thoughts?
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