Leeds United playmaker Samuel Saiz is paying for a disappointing individual start to the season with tough love from manager Marcelo Bielsa and that may carry on a little longer.
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder is regarded as one of the most technically gifted players at Elland Road and became a firm favourite last season after his debut year in England.
But he’s found it more difficult replicating his best form this campaign and his only goal to date came in the Carabao Cup.
Saiz has now been omitted from the starting XI in the last six consecutive league matches, which means he’s not been involved from the start in the Championship since 24 October against Ipswich Town.
It could get worse for him with an injury boost to teammate Izzy Brown, which could leave him stuck with familiar appearances off the bench.
Leeds have confirmed that attacker Brown is available to make his first competitive appearance for the club at the weekend against QPR.
The 21-year-old has been dealing with an injury since he joined in the summer on loan from Chelsea, but can now show the Yorkshire giants his quality.
He is likely to be in direct competition with Saiz for a starting position and may make his life even harder to break back into the team.