By Pete Hanson

2nd Oct, 2023 | 7:10pm

Mateo Joseph should seek Leeds United exit in January amid Daniel Farke plans

Mateo Joseph has long since been tipped for a bright future at Leeds United and many might have expected him to have played a more prominent role this season.

The teenage forward was heavily involved during pre-season and suitably impressed boss Daniel Farke enough to keep him in and around the first-team picture.

Alas, an ankle injury sustained on the eve of the Championship campaign derailed his progress and he has so far only made the bench against Sheffield Wednesday and Watford, where he did not get on the pitch in either game.

Farke answered questions about Joseph and his role in the Leeds squad prior to the 3-1 defeat at Southampton on Saturday (30 September).

In quotes reported by Leeds Live on Monday (2 October), Farke said: “So I was pretty impressed and pretty happy with him in pre-season.

“He had great games, also behind closed doors in the friendly against Barnsley he was excellent but also all the other friendlies. Sadly he had this long-term injury and for a young player who is just on the way into the first team football, it’s never easy if you miss such a big part and you are out for more or less two months and you then need a little bit longer to be back in shape.

“Obviously for him it’s also not that easy because you can’t give just game time away in order to bring him back from this confidence level and in this rhythm. But, on the training pitch he looks really sharp and we are also thinking perhaps of giving him some minutes, perhaps also whenever possible in the Under 21s to give him a bit of feeling for the positioning, also the feeling for a normal game.”

Joseph scored 17 goals as Leeds’ Under-21s were promoted to Premier League 2 last season, and utilising him with the youth team certainly makes sense in the short term.

It’s just you get the sense Joseph has already outgrown youth football and if he is to kick on what he really needs is competitive minutes.

Right now it is hard to see him getting that at Leeds. Joel Piroe and Georginio Rutter are starting to strike up a very nice understanding, while Patrick Bamford and Wilfried Gnonto are also options when fit, and Joe Gelhardt is available too.

So, it stands to reason that the best option for Leeds and Joseph is to try and find a loan move in January, in the Championship preferably but to a team challenging at the top end of League One if necessary.

Joseph is a real talent and made a few Premier League appearances last term. But what no one wants is for his progress to stagnate, so a temporary move in January would be hugely beneficial for all parties.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has mooted three changes for the Whites’ clash with Queens Park Rangers.