Darko Gyabi finally set for Leeds United break after Javi Gracia reaction to Tyler Adams injury
Darko Gyabi has to be on the brink of finally getting his big break at Leeds United after Tyler Adams was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Phil Hay reported in The Athletic on Wednesday (15 March) that the American international would miss this weekend’s relegation six-pointer with Wolves (18 March) and would not be in the USMNT squad that was set to be imminently announced.
Manager Javi Gracia then revealed on Thursday in his pre-match press conference for the Wolves trip that Adams has been sent to see a specialist, suggesting his absence may be extended, but cited Gyabi as a possible alternative alongside fellow teenager Archie Gray.
The Spaniard said, as per Leeds Live: “Darko is one option, the same with another young player as well, Archie. These are the players [who] are usually training with us in that position.
“Now we have Marc [Roca], Weston [McKennie], Darko [and] Archie [who] are the players. They usually train as midfielders and we have to take the decision for the next games, if Tyler is out, to choose the best option for us.”
Roca and McKennie are the senior options but whether it is from the bench or the start, Gyabi must be hugely frustrated if Adams’ absence hasn’t paved the way for him to finally break into the senior side.
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After arriving in a £5million deal from Manchester City in the summer, just as fan-favourite Kalvin Phillips was heading the opposite direction, he has been afforded a grand total of seven minutes of Premier League action, in a late cameo against his former side on 28 December.
One appearance each in either of the cups is otherwise the extent of his first-team action despite regularly making the bench, as Jesse Marsch seemed reluctant to turn to him despite fans being encourage in the little they saw.
He has been performing at a high level for the under-21s, and shone so brightly in the 3-0 victory over Derby on 6 March that Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Joe Donnohue hailed it “the most complete midfield display by any LUFC player, at any level” this season on Twitter.
He reported that Gracia and his staff were in attendance that night, so if the teenager were to have put in such a strong showing in front of the first-team boss but not get an opportunity he could be excused for wondering what else he can do.
Willy Gnonto is all the proof anyone around Elland Road should need that a youngster who is not expected to be ready to make a huge impact can surprise, and while Gyabi isn’t a full international like the Italian, he was brought in from Manchester for a reason.
Roca has flattered to deceive at times this season, and McKennie is still adapting to the Premier League, so Gyabi is surely in line for his first sustained Leeds United action in the coming fixtures in combination with those two, with Gray perhaps next in line after that.
It could well be the opportunity he has been waiting for and, if he manages to grab it, may be a glimpse of the long-term future in West Yorkshire, but if he is overlooked at this point he will have grounds to feel very hard done by.
In other Leeds United news, the club are on the brink of agreeing a four-year contract for yet another exciting prospect, and relegation is now threat to the move this time.
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