Marcelo Bielsa’s decision to run with a pared-down, thinned first-team squad is a decision that is going to be sorely tested over the course of the 2018/19 Sky Bet Championship campaign.
The testing that it will succumb to is one borne out by injury, and there’s plenty of that at Leeds United. In fact, there’s so much of it that Leeds United have passed the ‘rash’ and ‘spate’ stage. In fact, the Whites are approaching ‘epidemic’ stage when it comes to finding the right term
Taking a step back from the hyperbolic, there is definitely a set of injuries that are beginning to bite at the West Yorkshire club, and bite deep at that. Already out sidelined are defenders Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi, joined today by two new faces.
The new two hitting the treatment and rehabilitation rooms are club captain Liam Cooper and winger-cum-defender Stuart Dallas. As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Phil Hay, the duo are out of action for around six weeks each.
Captain Cooper is sidelined with a knee injury that was operated on today. That news was expected, yet news that Northern Ireland international Dallas is also out with a broken foot.
Hay reports that the club are looking at absences of around six weeks for Cooper, with Dallas it is set at between 4-6 weeks. Either way, Cooper and Dallas now join Berardi and Ayling to make that a quartet of first-team defenders out of contention for the December run-in, and likely early January push.
This situation alone must begin to call in to question, to some degree, running with a squad depth where a concerted set of injuries threatens to derail a good start to the season.
It has to be admitted that Leeds United are coping admirably. Yet, more pertinently, how long can the Whites continue to roll the die before the house calls time?