Sam Allardyce has hinted Georginio Rutter will not have a big part to play in Leeds United’s survival bid.
Allardyce was speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to West Ham on Sunday, the first of two massive games in their quest to secure avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Leeds paid a club record fee to acquire Rutter from Hoffenheim in January but the 21-year-old has struggled to make any sort of impact so far.
The 21-year-old has been an unused substitute in each of the last five games and instead started both of the U21s’ play-off matches against Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest earlier this month, scoring against the latter.
Rutter set for bit-part role in final two matches
Allardyce has very much turned towards the senior members of Leeds’ squad since his appointment at Elland Road.
He has made it clear that Patrick Bamford is his first choice number nine while he is here, despite his low levels of confidence after the penalty miss against Newcastle last weekend.
Rutter is also capable of playing out wide or just in behind, but it appears as though there are a number of players ahead of him in Allardyce’s thoughts, with the Leeds boss setting him the target of being ready to make an impact next season.
He said: “I don’t know. I’ve not seen enough. It’s a next season scenario for him. He came in January but when you’re young and you come to the PL, you have to settle in. Next season will be the big test for him.”
This is disappointing news but in fairness, also expected. Rutter has looked decent in a couple of his cameos against Southampton and Arsenal, though even Gracia had stopped using him towards the end of his reign.
There is undoubtedly a player with potential in Rutter but this is all the more shame on Victor Orta’s recruitment strategy.
Leeds needed an out and out striker ready to make an instant impact, and had one right there in Viktor Gyokeres, but in typical Orta fashion, he chose the project.