Leeds United youngster Ryan Edmondson has suffered a big blow as he looks to catch Marcelo Bielsa’s eye with the club confirming on their official website this week that the striker is set to miss 12 weeks after undergoing knee surgery.
In truth, many Leeds fans had already written off the chances of Edmondson breaking back into the first-team fold this season anyway.
The 18-year-old has bagged a number of goals for the under-23s again this season having scored 18 times during the last campaign.
Despite his form, he had not made a single appearance for the senior side this term before sustaining the injury in training that rules him out for the large majority of the remaining months of the campaign.
It is clearly a major setback for Edmondson. But his absence – along with the January departure of Kun Temenuzhkov – could also perhaps present an opportunity to Niklas Haugland in the coming months.
Haugland has been on Leeds’s books since 2018. He has predominantly featured for the club’s under-18s, but has made a couple of appearances for Carlos Corberan’s side.
His most recent outing for the under-23s came in last month’s Premier League Cup clash with Wolves.
And perhaps he can now set his sights on more opportunities for the under-23s while Edmondson is out.
There are other options available to Corberan.
Bobby Kamwa played up front after Jean-Kevin Augustin was replaced at the break of Monday’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Henri Kumwenda looks to be another name to look out for along with Haugland. So perhaps, he may also get a chance to impress.
But with Haugland recently promoted, and Augustin’s involvement with the under-23s surely set to not last much longer, perhaps there may be an opportunity for the Norwegian to step up on a more regular basis.
Losing Edmondson is a big blow for Leeds’s youngsters. But perhaps there may prove to be an upside and someone like Haugland could unexpectedly emerge while he is on the sidelines.