By Nick Ware

19th Aug, 2021 | 12:45pm

Marcelo Bielsa: Niall Huggins can leave Leeds United on loan

Marcelo Bielsa has told reporters that 20-year-old defender Niall Huggins can leave Leeds United on loan this season.

The Argentine held his pre-Everton press conference on Thursday, and he was quizzed on a series of topics, some relating to the transfer market.

Aside from potential incomings, he also detailed plans to send Huggins out on a temporary basis.

Press Association journalist Mark Walker detailed Bielsa’s quotes via his personal Twitter profile.

Walker wrote: “Niall Huggins is one young player whose path to the first team is blocked and will benefit from a season on loan, Bielsa said.”

Expected

There has been some conjecture about whether the York-born full-back would be allowed to leave Elland Road on a permanent or temporary basis this summer.

Having made his Whites debut away to Arsenal in February, there were high hopes for Huggins.

But he has not made a senior appearance since, and established left-back Junior Firpo has joined from Barcelona.

With Ezgjan Alioski’s departure, though, Firpo remains the only natural, senior left-back at the club.

However, it looks like Stuart Dallas will once again be tasked with undertaking that role on occasions, as he did when he started there against Manchester United last Saturday.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported earlier this week that an unnamed Championship club had tabled a bid for Huggins, and that a permanent exit could be sanctioned.

However, Bielsa appears to have shot down that suggestion in his press conference, and it looks more likely that Huggins will spend the 2021/22 campaign on Wearside after The Northern Echo claimed yesterday that Sunderland were in talks over a loan move.

In other Leeds United news, Matt Le Tissier predicts Whites v Everton clash.