By Peter Lynch

24th Oct, 2023 | 12:10pm

Leeds United: Daniel Farke mooted to axe Ethan Ampadu for Stoke City clash after ‘rare off day’ v Norwich City

Leeds United ace Ethan Ampadu could be benched for his club’s upcoming meeting with Stoke City, according to Leeds Live journalist William Jackson.

The verdict comes after the midfielder had a “rare off day” in the 3-2 win against Norwich City on Saturday (21 October).

The Whites moved up to third place in the table with the victory, and now travel to Stoke City on Wednesday (25 October).

“One of those who could see his game time managed this week is Ethan Ampadu, who has been an ever-present for the Whites so far, appearing in every minute of every game in all competitions for Leeds,” Jackson wrote for Leeds Live

“The midfielder has also been involved with Wales in that time, with his latest international run out being an intense one against Croatia.

“All those games might have taken their toll on Saturday as Ampadu had a rare off day in East Anglia and, with Ilia Gruev ready to step in, there’s an argument to make a change and allow the midfielder to sit one out. Farke may be asked about Ampadu and the merits of such a call.”

Star man

Ampadu has been one of the Championship signings of the season, with the versatile player starring in midfield under Farke.

The Whites haven’t always got their recruitment right in recent times, but Ampadu’s signature was spot on, with the Wales international immediately hitting the ground running at Elland Road.

The 23-year-old has quickly become a fan favourite following his summer switch from Chelsea, and is one of the first names on the teamsheet for his manager Farke.

But that could change against the Potters, simply because of the minutes that the player has clocked up this season for both club and country. His manager will want to avoid burnout or injury, so benching him for the Stoke clash certainly makes sense.

Fellow summer arrival Gruev should be more than capable of stepping in effortlessly, although lacing Ampadu’s boots is a big ask given his start to life in West Yorkshire.

In other Leeds United news, an unusual clause not possible in one country has been used on one Whites loanee, with a permanent exit now on the cards.