Leeds United’s Under-23 side drew 2-2 with Burnley at Elland Road on Friday afternoon under the watchful eye of Marcelo Bielsa, despite a handful of first-team stars in the side.
The likes of Kemar Roofe, Jamal Blackman, Adam Forshaw, Gaetano Berardi, Jack Clarke, Lewis Baker and Jamie Shackleton all started the match.
Berardi headed home – via a deflection – from a corner. Roofe then scored in the second half only for Burnley to peg the Whites back. Here are five things we learned from the frustrating draw:
Returning to action after missing six Championship outings, Roofe is rusty and is in no shape to spearhead the Leeds attack. The 25-year-old looked sluggish and was lacking a sharp first touch throughout.
Despite his goal, Leeds fans may be made to wait quite some time until he is back to the kind of form that saw him score four goals in six Championship games.
Baker sends Saiz a message… again
Samu Saiz has been one of Bielsa’s best performers in the middle of the park. However, he is yet to score and that will be worrying for the Argentine manager. Playing in the same role as Mateusz Klich, Saiz’s partner has four goals.
Baker, 23, showed some nice touches and plenty of creation in a similar role with Bielsa watching on, and the Chelsea loanee will have done himself no harm.
Berardi deserves a new deal
The Swiss star’s contract ends at the end of the 2019-20 season, but his versatility is making him more crucial than ever to Bielsa’s side. At left wing-back, Berardi was arguably Leeds’ best player against Burnley.
Naturally a right-back, he has starred at centre-back this season as well as featuring at left-back last season. A new contract, beyond the summer of 2020, is required.
Clarke can save Leeds money
At the end of the summer window, the belief was that Bielsa needed another winger. Fans were desperate to see another wide man enter the doors at Elland Road.
Fast forward six weeks, and 17-year-old winger Clarke has taken the void by the scruff of the neck and excited Leeds fans. Following his senior debut on Saturday, the youngster impressed once again for the second string.
For sure, Adam is struggling
It is clear that Bielsa have perhaps identified £4.5million signing Adam Forshaw as the man to become Kalvin Phillips back-up. Against Burnley in that role, he simply was not good enough.
Misplaced passes, late tackles and a lack of positional awareness was forgiven against Burnley’s second string. Against Championship opposition, he would be punished.