Marcelo Bielsa and Victor Orta were spotted at Harrogate Town’s CNG Stadium on Tuesday night to watch Leeds United loanee Liam Kitching. But is he good enough for a recall?
Kitching, 19, started and finished the game on the left side of defence, as Harrogate earned a 4-2 win over Barrow in the National League.
The Thorp Arch academy prospect has been a regular for Harrogate, playing every single minute of Harrogate’s season so far. He has scored two goals, and created another two strikes in 18 games.
📰 | #LUFC can confirm young defender Liam Kitching has joined Harrogate Town on loan, for an initial 28 day period.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) January 19, 2018
Leeds are desperate for cover in defence. Injuries to Luke Ayling, Gaetano Berardi, Conor Shaughnessy and Stuart Dallas has left Bielsa’s side light at the back.
The Whites finished Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest with a makeshift defence. Stuart Dallas at right-back, Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson at centre-back, and Gjanni Alioski at left-back.
Douglas is expected to return, but Kitching’s versatility may be key. He is able to play anywhere in defence, though he has played at left-back for Harrogate.
Liam Kitching reveals 'shock' and 'nerves' after Marcelo Bielsa casts eye over Leeds United loanee at Harrogate Town. #lufc
— Leeds United News (@LeedsUnitedYEP) November 2, 2018
Kitching has certainly impressed in the fifth tier of English football – enough for Bielsa to watch him. But it is an enormous step up to the Championship.
Bielsa’s faith in youth is admirable, but perhaps it is too much to recall Kitching in January and throw him in at the deep end. Instead, Leeds should leave him to develop on loan.