'He hasn't got the chances': Bielsa suggests 20-year-old Leeds player needs to leave on loan
Marcelo Bielsa has told Leeds Live that Niall Huggins needs to go on loan as he simply can’t break into Leeds United’s team this season.
Going on loan
Huggins has impressed in Leeds under-23 side, and spent pre-season with the first-team.
However, Leeds are now about to sanction a loan move for Huggins to Sunderland (Chronicle).
And Bielsa admits that leaving Elland Road temporarily is now the best option for the youngster.
He said: “Nothing has happened we hadn’t looked at before. These young players were part of the under-23s in previous seasons. They have a process of development.
“When they peak in this development, like with each of these named, they have to compete with a very small group chosen for the season.
“In this case: Ayling, Dallas and Shackleton play in his position. He hasn’t got the chances to overcome these players at the club. If I keep him at the club rather than aid his development, I hinder it.
“If the youngsters are not here, there comes a moment they need to look for higher competition than the 23s because progress would be stalled.
“All our expectation is they compete outside the club for a year and we find an evolution that invites them back into the fold. Without exception, every player out on loan I see every week because it’s my function, you grow a bond between these players, an affection.”
Time on his side
Huggins certainly still has time on his side at Leeds.
At the age of 20, he is young enough to progress into a first-team star, if he can impress on loan.
A move to Sunderland should really benefit him, as he will be expected to play a part in a promotion push from League One.
Leeds, meanwhile, will be hoping that their current right-back options are enough to see them through the campaign.
Leeds have kept a very similar squad this time around to the one which they had in the previous campaign, with only two new signings added to their senior squad to date.