By Anthony Onifade

24th May, 2023 | 9:50pm

Georginio Rutter still holds bright future at Leeds United as Elland Road development emerges

Unsettled Leeds United forward Georginio Rutter still holds a bright future at Elland Road as his team-mates rally around him after a difficult start to life in England.

The 20-year-old has struggled for game time and form since his club-record £35.5million move from Hoffenheim in January, making just one Premier League start.

Considering the kind of pressure the Whites are currently under to ensure their Premier League status for next season, Rutter’s lack of opportunities seems perfectly understandable.

The Frenchman remains an unknown quantity at the top level and is yet to get grips with the top flight in England but, according to one promising development at Elland Road, the situation could be about to improve fairly soon for the talented forward.

The Telegraph journalist Mike McGrath has revealed [24 May] that Rutter’s struggles with English have made life tough since moving to the Premier League.

“Despite teammates rallying around him daily, he has struggled with the expectations of such a fee,” wrote McGrath

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“There have been glimpses of what Rutter is capable of when he has played on the training pitches with his teammates, but they have not translated into Premier League games.

“He has struggled with English, despite teammates trying a little French to him around the training ground. He has also had goalkeeper Illan Meslier close by, an old friend from FC Lorient, but four months on the 21-year-old has struggled to settle.

“Even with the help of teammates, he is a young player who has moved away from his parents for the first time in his career.” 

McGrath is spot on in his assessment that is never easy for a player of Rutter’s age to acclimatise to an entirely different country, not least due to the weight of expectation that comes with such a hefty price tag.

So, it is fair to say Leeds fans need a certain restraint on expectations despite the big money paid to acquire the forward.

Rutter, before his mega move to Elland Road, established himself as one of Germany’s most exciting young forward talents, recording 10 goals and four assists over the last two campaigns in the German Bundesliga.

The incentives were there for Leeds’ hierarchy to shell out the cash for his services and there are plenty of examples of players who have made similar moves and struggled to hit the ground running in their first campaigns before going on to excel in time.

It is also fair to say that a lack of regular game time, coupled with Leeds’ fight against relegation, has contributed to Rutter’s initial struggles in England – the situation at Elland Road would make it difficult even for more established Premier League players to thrive.

Moving forward, Leeds have to provide Rutter with opportunities to adapt and develop. Championship football wasn’t on his agenda when he signed, but it might yet be the second tier – if Leeds are relegated – is the ideal platform for him to discover his best form.

With key strikers Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo potentially leaving Elland Road this summer, Rutter may well be handed an opportunity to claim a starting spot next season.

With all the support from his teammates and coaches and his continued acclimatisation to English football, the 20-year-old could become the player he was predicted to when he moved to West Yorkshire in January.

It would be an absolute waste for Leeds United to give up on him now.

In other Leeds United news, a potential fresh injury blow has emerged ahead of their crucial final-day Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road.