'We hope' - Marcelo Bielsa reveals plans for new signing Mateo Joseph Fernandez
Marcelo Bielsa has revealed that he hopes to include new January signing Mateo Joseph Fernandez in the Leeds first-team quickly.
The Whites completed the signing of 18-year-old Fernandez from Espanyol on a three-and-a-half year deal earlier this week, and he went straight into the Under 23’s squad.
But during his press conference ahead of the FA Cup third-round clash against West Ham [January 7, BBC Sport] the manager commented on the signing and revealed that he hoped the integration into the squad will be a quick one.
Bielsa commented that the integration will start with players his own age, but suggested the hope is he will adapt quickly so they can bring him into the first-team fold.
“He’s a young player who is going to incorporate himself to the group just below the first team and process of integration to the group will start at the level of the players at his age.
“We hope that this integration will be quick.”
The 18-year-old striker scored 14 goals in 21 games for the Espanyol Under-19’s side last season and comes with a rising reputation.
Leeds have struggled for goals so far this season, netting just 21 times in 19 games and only Raphinha has managed to find the net on more than two occasions.
While it’s unlikely that Fernandez will come into the first-team and fire in the goals that help them to safety, having a wildcard option that could come off the bench and effect games is always exciting.
If he can adapt quickly, Bielsa has shown many times in the past that is is happy to play young players and that could see him given the opportunity to make an impact early on and endear himself to the fans.