We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United…
Paul Robinson has said that the injuries Leeds have suffered are a “huge blow” and that Diego Llorente being ruled out for another two games makes things especially difficult for Marcelo Bielsa.
Llorente was ruled out for three weeks during the last international break and that means he will miss the next two games against Aston Villa and Leicester.
He should be back on November 7 for the game against Crystal Palace.
Kalvin Phillips was ruled out for six weeks on Tuesday and Liam Cooper aggravated a groin strain in the warm-up on Monday. Pascal Struijk and Robin Koch would be the players to step up to the holding midfield role but with Cooper and Llorente potentially both out, they’re needed in defence.
Talking exclusively to MOT Leeds News Robinson said, “Losing Phillips is a huge blow for Leeds and the injury to Llorente has really impacted them.
“If he hadn’t been injured in the international break then he would have made his debut for Leeds on Monday without a doubt
“Liam Cooper getting injured in the warm-up was another big blow.
“Robin Koch has been getting better and better alongside him. Struijk was at fault for the goal, he slipped and let Jimenez come inside him.
“The injuries are a huge blow but there are options and systems that Bielsa can play.
“It’s a big ask for [Oliver] Casey to step up. We’ve seen Luke Ayling play in centre-back, so he’s got a lot of different options.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Ayling drops into centre-back, with Stuart Dallas on the right and Alioski on the left.”
That could free Pascal Struijk to move up to the holding midfield position that’s so important to the Bielsa system
In other Leeds United news, MOT View: Injury crisis prompts major Bielsa reshuffle – Predicted Leeds starting XI v Villa