Leeds United made the short trip to National League North side Guiseley yesterday, claiming a 2-1 victory at Nethermoor thanks to goals from Helder Costa and Mateusz Bogusz.
It was Marcelo Bielsa’s second opportunity to run the rule over his squad after watching a 5-0 crushing of York City on Wednesday.
Pre-season friendlies are ignored by many but they often tell supporters a lot about plans for the upcoming campaign. Here are five things we learned from Leeds’ victory over the non-league Lions…
The future is bright
Pre-season yields opportunites for players on the fringes on the first-team and many of those that are knocking on Marcelo Bielsa’s door are academy prospects. Polish prodigy Mateusz Bogusz started and notched the decisive goal, featuring alongside Leif Davis, Jamie Shackleton, Jordan Stevens, Nohan Kenneh and Niall Huggins. Davis caught the eye as a calm presence on the ball and Kenneh, a 16-year-old England youth international, slotted seamlessly into the side when he entered as a substitute. Shackleton has already made his mark in the senior set-up and his energetic display was another sign that he is destined for a successful career. The Thorp Arch production line is showing no signs of slowing down.
A mass exodus is on the cards
Although the starting eleven was comprised mostly of senior players, the substitutes bench was made up of academy players. Despite being absent in Wednesday’s victory over York City, there was still no place for a large number of senior players, including England under-21 international Tom Pearce, former Hearts loanee Conor Shaughnessy and Belgian Laurens De Bock. The exclusion of such a large number of senior players from the first-team picture and the preference of teenagers over them suggests that departures may be frequent between now and the beginning of the season.
Jamie Shackleton is ready to be a regular starter
This isn’t just something that was learnt last night, but the need for Jamie Shackleton to feature more regularly in the first-team was certainly reinforced. He was the catalyst for the side’s resurgence in the second-half, providing the link between defence and attack as his bursts forward put Leeds on the front foot on more than one occasion.
Helder Costa is brimming with confidence
When Costa hit his stride, he began gliding past helpless Guiseley players as if they weren’t there. It was suggested that the winger was lacking confidence with Wolves last season, but the Portugal international looked like a firm believer in his own abilities as he took the game by the scruff of the neck after the interval.
Kalvin Phillips loves the club
Rumours that the jewel in the crown will soon depart Elland Road persist but it was clear that Kalvin Phillips loves Leeds United. His willingness to pose for pictures with young supporters sparked a pitch invasion and he stood outside Nethermoor to greet supporters whilst most of his teammates were heading home.