Today at Leeds United’s Thorp Arch complex, the Under-23s put in a miserable performance that resulted in an equally miserable 3-0 loss to their Birmingham counterparts.
However, as well as being a game of contrasting fortunes for the West Yorkshire side and their Midlands visitors, it also proved to be so for Chelsea loanees Izzy Brown and Jamal Blackman.
The former arrived at Elland Road injured, the Whites bringing him in as part of a longer-term recuperation and repair job to get him back onto the pitch later on this season. He’d suffered an anterior cruciate ligament damage whilst on loan at Brighton, suffering this in an FA Cup tie against Crystal Palace.
10 months out, first 45 mins back out there! It’s never felt so good to be on a pitch. Thank you so much for all the positive energy in such a difficult time, it’s appreciated! #lufc #mot pic.twitter.com/VMqLn6CLM1
— Isaiah Brown (@izzyjaybrown) November 16, 2018
However, Brown’s emergence in the colours of Leeds United is a bittersweet moment for Leeds United fans to take in. It is so as his Chelsea teammate Jamal Blackman is making the return journey after suffering a broken leg playing for the Whites Under-23s at Thorp Arch this afternoon.
I would like to thank the medical staff at both Thorp Arch and Leeds General Infirmary for the excellent way they dealt with the situation and also thank all the fans for their support and messages 👊🏾❤️ pic.twitter.com/4GsA0hcRuq
— Jamal Blackman (@Big_Blacks) November 16, 2018
Blackman suffered a broken tibia under an unnecessary challenge from a Birmingham player, the Blues already 3-0 to the good. As such, just as Brown is making his way into the Leeds United limelight, Blackman is stepping out of it and heading back to parent club Chelsea.
He leaves Leeds United with well-wishing messages ringing in his ears from Whites fans, as well as from the club itself. Director of Football Victor Orta said that, in words carried on the Leeds United website, “Not only is Jamal a really good goalkeeper, but he also a good person too and he has been an exemplary professional since joining the club.”
Orta also confirms that Blackman will, indeed, be heading back to London saying “Unfortunately due to the extent of the injury we will have to send Jamal back to Chelsea.”
Whilst the emergence of Izzy Brown gives the Whites an option at the top of the field, it’s quite the opposite with Jamal Blackman. Blackman’s injury, and return to Chelsea, limits Leeds United, meaning that they will have to look to the free agent market or risk dipping into the Under-23s for untested talent.