Marcelo Bielsa seemed to drop a big clue about his team selection for Leeds United’s upcoming clash with Huddersfield Town last weekend with Ben White moving into midfield in place of Kalvin Phillips for the latter stages of the win over Middlesbrough.
Phillips was booked in the game, meaning that he will be suspended for Saturday’s clash. And it appears that White could be the man Bielsa wants to turn to to fill in against the Terriers.
The Brighton loanee has been outstanding since arriving at Leeds. He is the one defender in Bielsa’s squad who has started every league game. And his form has helped the club keep the best record in the Championship so far this season.
His ability to drive out of the defence, and vision to pick out a momentum-changing pass suggests that he could be a smart replacement for Phillips. He certainly looks to be the most like-for-like option.
However, perhaps there is an argument to suggest that Bielsa may be taking a gamble if he decides to push White forward. And that is because of the form of Huddersfield striker Karlan Grant.
Grant already has 11 goals this season. And he has now scored two goals in his last two. Without him, Danny Cowley’s men would almost certainly be in the bottom three.
If Leeds keep Grant quiet, Bielsa’s men have a fantastic chance of winning. And Bielsa may need to weigh up whether moving White into midfield may hurt the visitors’ chances of stopping the striker.
Of course, White moving into Phillips’s role will not prevent the summer signing from contributing defensively. And it must be noted that Grant has not featured in a central role for a few games.
It looks more than likely that White will come in for Phillips with Gaetano Berardi filling in at centre-back. But Grant’s form may leave Bielsa keeping his options open, perhaps even after the game is underway on Saturday.