Jean-Kevin Augustin arrived at Elland Road in January. His arrival was a measure seen as needed at Leeds United – a striker to challenge Patrick Bamford. The Whites had wanted Southampton’s Che Adams but were knocked back in that interest. In conversation with Football Insider, Noel Whelan talks about what he has heard of Augustin from those at the club.
Augustin’s arrival saw him come from Red Bul Leipzig via AS Monaco. He didn’t have a particularly good half-season at Monaco and his football was severely limited at the French glamour club. As a result of this, he arrived at Leeds United somewhat a way distant from what Marcelo Bielsa requires of his players regarding fitness.
Since signing on at Elland Road in January, the solidly-built Frenchman featured in just three games for the Whites. These three appearances, all from the bench, against Nottingham Forest (19′), Brentford (14′) and Bristol City (15′) total just 48 minutes and he’s been out since appearing on the bench for the Reading game with a hamstring twinge.
However, the COVID-19 lockdown has allowed the big French striker to not only get back to match fitness but also to get Bielsa-fit. The Whites tweeted a series of pictures of him in training (below) which have gotten fans talking:
Twitter: 🔥 The hard work continues! https://t.co/MF8uUyEwYn (@LUFC)
Speaking of this transformation, of Augustin becoming ‘Bielsa fit’, Whelan tells Football Insider that he is impressed by what he’s heard from inside Elland Road. He said of this: “I’ve heard good things about Augustin, that he’s fit, he’s in a good place, he looks happy, he looks ready and eager to go.”
Whelan also comments on the fact that the powerfully-built Frenchman is something of an unknown commodity. Commenting on this aspect, Whelan adds: “No one’s seen the best of him, no one’s seen anything of him really. We’ve seen him come on and try to force a performance because he’s got such a short window of opportunity to do that.”
Whelan sees this as a big opportunity for Augustin to go out there and justify that huge price tag on his head. He ended his conversation with Football Insider saying: “Now he’s had an opportunity to shred a little bit of weight, get himself onto a fighting weight where he feels comfortable and ready to play at.”
Leeds United fans will be hoping beyond hope that Big Kev, as they’ve named him, can get some minutes under his belt and unleash the potential that he has. Should that happen, he could have a big impact on the Whites final nine games of this interrupted season.
He could rip things up.
No, not really.
Not enough time left.