Leeds United have just confirmed the extent of the injury suffered by on-loan Chelsea stopper Jamal Blackman, and it isn’t good news.
The gigantic youngster was injured in the latter stages of today’s 3-0 loss against Birmingham City’s Under-23s at Thorp Arch. The Whites have now confirmed that Blackman suffered a fractured tibia.
Tackle on Blackman really wasn’t needed either. Loose ball in the box which he was always getting to first and the lad left both legs in (3-0 up as well) – nasty business. Wait and see with how bad it is. #lufc
— Joe Urquhart (@JoeUrquhartYEP) November 16, 2018
Reporter Joe Urquart’s somewhat doom-laden prophesy came true, the aircast on Blackman’s leg signifying that the extent of the injury was significant and that it was a case of protection rather than prevention that the Leeds coaching staff were interested in.
For the Whites, it is a setback that robs them of a dependable back-up and means that they’ll have to dip into the Under-23s to promote a #2 to the bench. What is most alarming here is that the keeper promoted to the first-team bench would have zero competitive experience; Blackman featured heavily for Sheffield United last season.
With Blackman, as confirmed by Leeds United’s statement as returning to Chelsea, now out of the equation, it also reignites the debate over Leeds’ stretched squad and the need to get busy in the January transfer market.
The Whites have been surviving with a ‘two positions covers all’ policy when it comes to a first-team squad stripped to the bare essentials and as lean as can be.
That leanness has been stripped back further with the above news. Whilst Marcelo Bielsa can swap and change outfield players to cover gaps caused by injuries, the same cannot be said here.
It will be interesting as to what Leeds’ long-term strategy will be here. Short-term, yes, they can rely on a combination of chance and an Under-23 stopper, but long-term is different. Long-term, surely that’s a case of bringing somone else in to the fold now that Jamal Blackman is heading back to London.