Marcelo Bielsa handed a debut to Leeds United youngster Niall Huggins against Arsenal and it is fair to say that he did not disappoint.
It came under very difficult circumstances too.
The Whites trailed 4-0 when Huggins came on to replace Gjanni Alioski not long after half-time. By full-time it was 4-2 and Leeds were unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty.
It meant we won 2-0 in the time he spent on the pitch, and he fared well against Bukayo Saka and Hector Bellerin. Unlike Alioski.
Bielsa also shuffled up the backline in the second half yet each defender adjusted well, Huggins included.
Supporters have noted that he did not look out of place and the full-back was praised for the energy he displayed.
Alioski has looked out of sorts in recent games and has been substituted in five out of his last seven appearances.
Stuart Dallas is our only other senior option at left-back but with injuries to midfielders we need him in the middle of the pitch.
That could mean more opportunities for Huggins.
Leeds are pretty much safe from relegation already and more game time for Huggins, Jamie Shackleton and others will really aid their development.
Here is some of the reaction from the Leeds fanbase to Huggins’ debut.
A lot better second half, impressed with Huggins looks like he wants to go forward. I’d say him in the team instead of Shackleton next time but let’s regroup and go again
— Peter (@LeedsUnited43) February 14, 2021
Looks class! One good thing to come out of the game
— Josh Holden (@JoshuaHolden93) February 14, 2021
Huggins showed great maturity,and he is quick to,Jamie Shack did ok could have scored late on..
— John Mat (@JohnMat77117417) February 14, 2021
Reminded me of Shackleton. Hopefully Harte has better guidance than he did for Clarke
— Parma (@parmadiggyd) February 14, 2021
Thought he looked very assured. 👏🏻
— Lee Maspero (@Leemo_LUFC) February 14, 2021
Huggins has proven here for me he is no worse than Alioski and deserves more time.
— The Trainee RQT (@TrainingToTeach) February 14, 2021
Can play literally anywhere. He's the new Dallas
— Finley (@Finley09493517) February 14, 2021
Wow our niall. What a game for a debut. You did brilliant. Did you have butterflies just before you went on ?? . Congratulations and hopefully first of many 💛💙💛💙
— kathy lufc 🏆 champions💙💛 (@miffy0811_a) February 14, 2021
Well done, you showed why Bielsa has faith in you, you fitted in really well, played with composure, vision and skill. You looked like you belonged on the pitch and irrespective of the result, you did yourself proud. 👏🏽 👏🏽 👏🏽
— Pureforms (@pureforms) February 15, 2021
You smashed it today, especially loved that cheeky pass into the box, can see you being a future star. Play with no fear #alaw
— talk2️⃣frank (@talk_2_frank) February 14, 2021
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