Carlos Corberan’s Under-23 side earned an excellent 4-1 win over Yorkshire neighbours Barnsley at Oakwell on Friday afternoon. Captain Luke Ayling impressed on the right side of defence.
Ayling’s red card against Brentford means he is suspended for Saturday’s trip to Blackburn Rovers, so Ayling played against Barnsley.
But it was a handful of teenage stars that outshone Ayling. Ryan Edmondson scored a hat-trick and Sam Dalby also getting his name on the score sheet. Here are three things we learned from the win.
Jordan Stevens deserves first-team chance:
Stevens, 18, starred for the Whites as they controlled the second half. Signed from Forest Green Rovers in January, the midfielder showed some excellent touches before his superb solo run set up Edmondson.
Playing in a similar role to Samu Saiz, Stevens certainly boasts the technique to play in such a role. Bielsa has to consider giving him a chance from the bench sooner rather than later.
Ryan Edmondson can be Bielsa’s plan-B:
Bielsa has already pointed out, at length, in one of his well-watched press conferences that he prefers not to have a plan B. It suggests that he has no faith in his first plan.
But Edmondson’s hat-trick showed just how effective the 17-year-old target man can be. Two superb headers, either side of a tap in, shows that having a bit of power up front can be key at times.
Will Huffer is losing contract battle:
It was not all good. A dismal first 20 minutes saw goalkeeper Huffer make mistake after mistake, as he replaced Jamal Blackman for a rare appearance.
Misplaced throws and passes, and failing to claim loose balls in his own area. The England youth international is fighting a losing battle to earn a new deal – which expires at the end of the season.