One issue that became apparent during Leeds’ defeat to Stoke was the lack of game-changers on Marcelo Bielsa’s bench. Bielsa brought on Tyler Roberts and rolled the dice by handing Jordan Stevens his debut.
Unfortunately, the substitutions did not pay off. And their inability to turn Leeds’ fortunes around perhaps sends a message to Bielsa ahead of the final days of the transfer window.
The last time we saw a player introduced into a game who was older than 20 came in the win at Bolton in mid-December.
You don’t win everything with kids
We have seen how devastating the starlets can be. Jack Clarke is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous players in Leeds’ squad. Meanwhile, Jamie Shackleton has taken to Championship football superbly.
But it cannot be ignored that Leeds have lost three of their last four. And it is perhaps telling that the last player over the age of 20 to come on for the Whites was Patrick Bamford who went on to score the winning goal.
Since then, the only outfield player who could have possibly ended that run was Lewis Baker.
Leeds have a host of first-team players returning to the fold in the near future. Kalvin Phillips is back from suspension, Pontus Jansson will return one game later, while the likes of Gaetano Berardi, Stuart Dallas and Bamford are working their way back from injury.
We should see a much more experienced bench in the near future. But with our luck this season, Bielsa cannot be complacent and assume that his side will not suffer further setbacks.
Leeds’ youngsters are frequently proving to be the stars of the show. But perhaps Bielsa should heed the warning signs, so that it does not only fall to them to change the game when we need a moment of inspiration.