Alex Bruce, a former Leeds United defender, has commented on the presence of Jean-Kevin Augustin and the French striker’s lack of progress towards a starting spot at Leeds United. In news carried by Football Insider, the former Irish international dismisses notions that it’s due to Augustin’s ‘toxicity’.

Augustin arrived at Elland Road on loan from German side Red Bull Leipzig via a pretty unremarkable first half-season stay with french glamour club AS Monaco. Leeds needed a striker to replace the recalled Eddie Nketiah and had seen their efforts to tap into the domestic market come up dry.

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It was a surprise when the name of Augustin began to circulate, a name that Leeds United fans knew next-to-nothing about and a name that no doubt caused Internet search spikes.

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However, the young striker arrived at Elland Road for the remainder of this season. In arriving he was not present for the first two games he was available for (versus Millwall and Wigan Athletic) and gained his first action in Leeds colours for Carlos Corberan’s Under-23s.

He has appeared as a substitute in Leeds’ last two games (Nottingham Forest and Brentford) and will, again be on the bench for the visit of Lee Johnson’s Bristol City side to Elland Road this afternoon. The reason for this is twofold: loyalty shown to Patrick Bamford and Bielsa’s view that fitness-wise, Augustin isn’t quite up to speed.

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Former White Bruce, speaking to Football Insider’s Wayne Veysey, dismisses any ideas that his absence could be related to any notions of a toxic unmanageability. He says: Bielsa, an experienced manager, I’m sure he’s done his homework to ring around and ask people what Augustin’s character’s like.

“I’m sure if it was really toxic and really bad, with the contacts that Bielsa’ll have in the game he would know whether he could manage him or not.

Augustin will, at least in the short-term, need to satisfy himself with a bench spot in Leeds United’s plans as the Whites look to seal a promotion to the Premier League. However, expect to see him play a bigger role as he battles his way toward the fitness levels that Marcelo Bielsa’s playing style dictates.

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My usually loud cynicism has turned to quiet optimism with the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United. I'm a father to three loud children; two fully-grown and one eight-year-old who thinks he is. My main job is in teaching but I find it cathartic to write about football when the opportunity arises. I mostly write about Leeds United but turn my hand to other clubs.