Marcelo Bielsa rates a small group of younger players at Leeds United and based on his team selection decisions, Jordan Stevens is one of them.
Stevens, 20, has only made four first-team appearances for the Whites this season but has been named in Bielsa’s matchday squad on 13 occasions in the Championship, suggesting that the meticulous Argentine sees star potential in the former Forest Green player.
We are yet to see Stevens start a match with the midfielder playing five times off the bench but it might raise eyebrows that all five of the times Stevens has played, Leeds have lost.
Last season, he made his senior debut for the Yorkshire giants in a 2-1 defeat to Stoke while this term he has played a role in losses against Fulham, Arsenal, Sheffield Wednesday and QPR.
On the surface, it seems that Stevens is contributing to defeats but the fact his longest appearance is only 25 minutes [WyScout] suggests that he has been nothing more than unfortunate.
Eventually, Stevens will get an appearance for Leeds and be able to celebrate a win as he exits the pitch.
Hopefully that is soon and we reckon it will be as Bielsa admires players who are versatile and Stevens has the ability to play as a central midfielder or on the right-wing.
Leeds have a shortage of players in the central midfield position due to Adam Forshaw being out until August or September after undergoing surgery on his hip in the winter.
Kalvin Phillips is prone to the odd injury or suspension so there could be an opening for Stevens in that area.
But this season, the 20-year-old has played mainly on the right-wing in Bielsa’s fluid system, as his heatmap shows below.
Helder Costa has hardly impressed the majority of Leeds fans this season so, again, there is another potential opening for Stevens on the right-hand side of Bielsa’s attack.
There will no doubt be plenty of opportunities for the unfortunate youngster in the coming months once football is, hopefully, back underway.
We would not be shocked that if the next time he plays, he’ll be a part of a team that not only wins three points but also takes a major stride towards automatic promotion.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites are eyeing up this Arsenal goalkeeper.