Leeds United’s disappointing Carabao Cup performance will potentially force Marcelo Bielsa to consider decisions on a number of young players within his squad before the transfer window closes.
Bielsa has worked with a smaller squad throughout his time at Elland Road. And he has enjoyed success doing so by keeping hold of the club’s brightest prospects to help provide depth.
This summer has seen the strategy change somewhat. A couple of previously-important under-23 players have been loaned out or linked with temporary exits.
One of them was Leif Davis. The Sunday Mirror (16/8; page 64) reported last month that Leeds were planning to loan the defender out with Stoke City and Portsmouth interested.
It is not clear whether the pair remain keen on signing the 20-year-old. But following Wednesday night’s cup exit, perhaps Leeds should be even more determined to loan the youngster out before the window closes.
Like the rest of the Leeds side, Davis did not cover himself in glory in the game. In fairness, he did not necessarily do a lot wrong. However, it was not a performance that saw the youngster stake a claim for an opportunity in the league.
Leeds’s cup exit makes it highly possible that Davis has made his last start for the Whites until January. Last season would suggest that he is fourth in the left-back pecking order, and he is probably slightly lower down in the centre-back position.
Bielsa may decide that, once again, Davis would benefit more from staying put. He is a good player to have amongst the squad due to his versatility.
But perhaps, it should be no surprise if a loan move has now moved a step closer with Leeds out of the cup.