Marcelo Bielsa on whether Leeds United could turn to Whites loanees to solve injury crisis

Marcelo Bielsa will assess whether any Leeds United loanees could help with his current Elland Road injury plight.

By Joe Urquhart
Friday, 17th December 2021, 2:03 pm

The Whites have seen their senior squad decimated in recent weeks and have been left with just 10 senior players for the visit of Arsenal in the Premier League.

Seven of Bielsa's first team are injured while full-back Junior Firpo is suspended after picking up a fifth booking of the season in the midweek hammering at Manchester City.

Starters Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford and Liam Cooper are all currently missing due to hamstring problems.

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Leeds United's Leif Davis is currently on loan at Bournemouth. Pic: Getty

Rodrigo is battling bilateral heel pain and Pascal Struijk suffered a rare foot injury in training when two bones collided. Jamie Shackleton (Achilles) and Dan James (adductor) are the latest additions to the treatment room following the Etihad trip.

The return of long-term absentee Robin Koch will help ease some of the defensive burden though with barely a full team to field Leeds could look to those under contract but away from the club to help out when the January window opens.

Bielsa sent 10 players out on loan in the summer but only nine remain with their temporary teams after Ian Poveda's serious leg break whilst at Blackburn Rovers.

Helder Costa, Kiko Casilla, Leif Davis, Alfie McCalmont, Mateusz Bogusz, Elia Caprile, Ryan Edmondson, Laurens De Bock and Kun Temenuzhkov are those plying their trade outside of West Yorkshire.

Bielsa, who was speaking ahead of his side's hosting of the Gunners in LS11, was quizzed over whether the club could explore the option of recalling any of those still on the books to come to the team's aid amid the injury crisis.

“Every player that's on loan that can be recovered, [if what] they've manifested in these six months [has] gone past their competitive level and it is similar to that of the players in the squad we possess at the moment,” the Whites boss said of any possible recalls.

“If all of that came to be, we would try to recover that player, but for that to happen with players who have gone out on loan, it's because I understood and the club accompanied my idea, that the players we kept were in better conditions than the ones we loaned out to resolve our needs.

“So, what we have to verify is if there's been an evolution in them outside the club, that allows us to see that proportion has changed.”

De Bock's future at the club is all but over while it is unlikely Kun Temenuzhkov along with goalkeepers Kiko Casilla or Elia Caprile would return.

Left-back Leif Davis has enjoyed success with Bournemouth in the Championship so far while Helder Costa is picking up regular minutes in La Liga at Valencia.

Alfie McCalmont and Ryan Edmondson have dropped into the Football League with Morecambe and Fleetwood Town to pick up experience.

Midfielder Mateusz Bogusz has also caught the eye with a number of impressive goals whilst on loan at UD Ibiza in La Liga 2, Spain's second tier.