Getting Jean-Kevin Augustin in on loan from Red Bull Leipzig, via AS Monaco, was a necessity to cover the recalled loss of Eddie Nketiah. However, despite the French striker being a needed addition to the Whites ranks, former Leeds striker Noel Whelan says to Football Insider that he’s nowhere near ready to start for the West Yorkshire side.
Arsenal recalled Nketiah early from his season-long loan deal at Elland Road seemingly upset at the lack of exposure the young starlet was getting at the West Yorkshire club. He made just two starts for the Whites and saw the rest of his action from the bench with Marcelo Bielsa preferring Patrick Bamford to the young Gunner.
That preference to show loyalty to former Middlesbrough man Bamford has seen Augustin not be considered for a start yet for Bielsa’s Leeds side although Whelan says this is more than understandable. Rather than bringing in the abstract concept of loyalty, Whelan points to the rather more prosaic matter that is Augustin’s readiness and fitness.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan said of Augustin: “He’s not fit, a little bit overweight, he’s going through a pre-season again. We’ll only see him in dribs and drabs until he gets up to speed. Marcelo said that they have to be up to speed. He isn’t, he’s miles off.”
Patrick Bamford, a scorer of 12 goals this season for the Whites, is United’s first-choice striker and it will take some effort, or an unfortunate injury, for recent arrival Augustin to depose him from his seat at the spearhead of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United attack.
At the moment, as Whelan notes, the powerfully-built French striker is merely getting up to spped but, once he is, then the Whites have a viable option coming off the bench to really punish tiring opponents.