When Leeds United solved their striker problem by bringing in Jean-Kevin Augustin from RB Leipzig it certainly pleased fans at Elland Road.
Rightly so. The Frenchman has a reputation as a fiercely talented striker and Leeds were hopeful he could come straight in and do a job under Marcelo Bielsa.
But that was never truly a likely scenario.
Augustin spent much of this season out of first-team action during an ill-fated loan spell at AS Monaco.
So he immediately had a lot of work to do to get into shape for Bielsa’s notoriously hard style of play. It is the reason why Augustin is yet to start a game for Leeds. The fact he has now picked up a hamstring injury will no doubt disappoint Leeds fans but again, it should be no surprise.
Becoming a Bielsa player does not happen overnight.
Jamal Blackman had to lose weight as a goalkeeper before Bielsa would consider him for first-team action. Looking at a player like Helder Costa this season, it is clear that his fitness levels have improved immensely from the start of the campaign. Others, such as Lewis Baker, Izzy Brown (who also had severe knee injuries) and Samuel Saiz have simply fallen short of Bielsa’s high standards.
Augustin also has a track record when it comes to not keeping fit when not regularly playing. Ralf Rangnick blasted the French striker in the press during his time at Leipzig, as reported by SportBild.
“It’s no coincidence that two of those who haven’t done their homework at all are now injured. I mean Nordi Mukiele and Dayot Upamecano. They were injured not just for a week, but for a total of more than three weeks. And the way we train simply requires fitness.
“Jean-Kévin Augustin has different physical conditions and is therefore less prone to injury. But he also didn’t work the way it was agreed.”
With all that considered, Augustin never looked likely to come in and be an immediate hit at Leeds.
The idea was probably to ease him in over the next month before he could be up to speed and get firing for the club.
Unfortunately, this hamstring problem may now prevent a major impact from Augustin this campaign.
But, if Leeds get promoted, they can sign Augustin for £17.7 million, according to Bild. With a full Bielsa pre-season under his belt, the Frenchman could be a fearsome force in the Leeds United attack.
But for the rest of this season, Leeds fans will have to temper their expectations.