Will Leeds rue selling Robbie Gotts this summer?
Leeds United fans probably would not have believed you had they been told in January 2020 that Robbie Gotts would no longer be at Elland Road within 20 months.
Gotts had just made his first-team debut – at Arsenal in the FA Cup, no less. And that came after 35 games where the 21-year-old was named on the bench by Marcelo Bielsa without getting on.
The youngster gave a very good account of himself at the Emirates. He nearly scored in a pulsating first-half performance from the Whites.
And yet, while Leeds were battling Newcastle on Friday, Gotts was preparing to face Bradford in his third appearance as a Barrow player.
In truth, it appeared for some time that Gotts was facing an uphill battle trying to get back into Bielsa’s plans.
But there was an element of shock surrounding his move. Many were stunned to see him head into League Two.
Leeds fans will undoubtedly continue to follow Gotts’s career. And they will be hoping that he can move back up the leagues in the coming years.
But for some, there must be doubts about whether Leeds definitely made the right decision selling Gotts in the summer.
Admittedly, it is hard to argue that a League Two player would be worth keeping in a Premier League squad. And Bielsa has shown in the past that he will never push for a selfish decision to be made on a youngster’s future.
But one of Leeds’ big problems this season has been their success in those battles in the middle of the park.
Robbie Gotts may have had chance to fight back into Marcelo Bielsa’s plans had he stayed at Leeds United
Obviously, Gotts was always unlikely to get in the side ahead of Mateusz Klich, Stuart Dallas and Jamie Shackleton.
But it is arguably the area of the squad where Leeds lack depth in both the first-team and under-23s.
In Mark Jackson’s ranks, they have players such as Jack Jenkins and Lewis Bate. But the likes of Sam Greenwood and Pascal Struijk have filled in there in recent times.
Gotts appeared to fall out of favour. But he is a player Bielsa has previously trusted. So he could have perhaps been one of those players who straddled that line between the first-team and under-23s this season.
It is not a decision that is going to define Leeds’s season by any means. But Gotts is a very bright prospect.
And with the Whites probably not having the amount of depth they need in the middle, surely an argument can be made that there could have yet been an opening for Gotts had he stuck around.