By MOT Leeds News speaking to Paul Robinson

11th Oct, 2023 | 6:40pm

Ilia Gruev's Leeds United time will come after 'very difficult' start - pundit

We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United …

Ilia Gruev will have his chance to earn more game time for Leeds United after his “very difficult” start to life at Elland Road, according to Paul Robinson.

The Bulgarian international joined the Whites from Werder Bremen on deadline day but, per Transfermarkt, has just managed three minutes of football in all competitions for Leeds this season. While new signings do take time to bed into a squad, especially late transfers, the Elland Road faithful may have expected to have seen more from Gruev.

Leeds have a great amount of depth in the areas Gruev can play. Ethan Ampadu has cemented his spot as a defensive midfielder, while Glen Kamara has emerged as a reliable candidate for Daniel Farke in this position. Breaking an established starting 11 is difficult, especially when the team is winning.

However, Robinson claims that Gruev’s chance will come. When Leeds have to contend with more midweek fixtures, Farke will rely on the squad “to the maximum” to get results, which Robinson notes will allow the fringe players to have their say.

Speaking exclusively to MOT Leeds News, Robinson said: “I think Gruev probably understands where the side are at the moment and it’s very difficult to break into a side that’s playing well, winning games and scoring goals.

“I mean, he came on the pitch at the weekend, but we’re still early on in the season. We forget it’s only the second international break, but players like that are going to have to bide their time.

“We all talk quite often and openly about the Championship season as one of the toughest leagues in the world. It’s the hardest league in the world to get out of.

“It’s Saturday and Tuesday, and that’s just about to start kicking in after this international break. All the football through October, November, December time, that’s all to come.

“The squad is going to be tested to its maximum, so the players that haven’t played their part yet, the fringe players that haven’t had game time, will be used between now and the end of the season.”

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay claims that a three-time Spanish league winner has made an enquiry to sign an Elland Road star as Farke’s stance emerges.