When Izzy Brown joined Leeds United on loan from Chelsea, the Whites knew that they were picking up an essentially injured player they’d need to coax back to fitness.
A bad knee injury in January saw the much regarded young Chelsea forward return to Stamford Bridge from a loan spell in the Premier League at Brighton. Leeds United, knowing his repute, have taken a chance on him.
Recovery and recuperation was a must for him, Leeds knew that. With regard to that, he’s there or thereabouts in terms of match readiness. He made his ‘comeback’ for the Under-23s in a 3-1 defeat against Crewe Alexandra.
After that game, where he played just 45 minutes, Brown announced that he was going to play a full 90 in the next game as he stepped up his comeback and ratcheted up his fitness. Then he was a no-show in today’s 3-1 win for the Under-23s against Sheffield United.
However, alarm bells started to ring for Leeds fans when Brown’s name failed to materialise. Whilst these alarms didn’t quite reach DefCon-5 level, it is fair to say that there was a degree of consternation mounting.
Some were wondering if his absence meant that the growing Leeds United injury curse had struck again, that the Chelsea loanee was pushed even further back in his rehabilitation. The thinking and logic behind that is understandable, any player coming back from such a traumatic injury is liable to suffer some form of setback.
Yet, and bear with me here, Brown’s absence could all just be the result of him being saved for tonight’s game against Reading. Why, you ask? Well, Tyler Roberts played against Sheffield United Under-23s, scoring a good brace. You’d have expected him to make the bench against Reading.
Maybe Marcelo Bielsa knows that Brown is ready, and ready now. Maybe that’s why he was left out of the Under-23s game against the young Blades. Maybe he is being readied for a run-out at some point tomorrow against the lowly visitors to Elland Road from Royal Berkshire.
A lot of ‘maybes’, but you never know. Not with this Leeds United side under El Loco.