Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa must change stance on Mateusz Bogusz

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Marcelo Bielsa hasn’t had many problems handing minutes to the younger members of Leeds’ squad.

This season has already seen Leif Davis feature at centre-back whilst there’s also been a spot in the team for Jamie Shackleton and Alfie McCalmont.

The latter was handed a senior debut against Salford in the League Cup before also starting against Stoke in the next round.

Although taken off at the break, Bielsa’s faith in starting him in the first place was admirable.

However, it’s rather baffling that he’s played more often than Mateusz Bogusz.

The 18-year-old arrived in January and it took until the clash against Stoke for him to earn his competitive bow.

Given his impressive showings for the U23s, coming close to scoring last weekend, it was a surprise that he wasn’t the first member of the academy to be called upon.

Bogusz is an intriguing talent, turning down Brighton to sign for the Whites in January.

Despite being so young, he’d already gained exposure of senior football in Poland for Ruch Chorzow. A lack of regular action was understandable last term because the Whites were engulfed in a promotion fight but this season it makes far less sense.

As of January last term, Bielsa had handed ten debuts to players 21 and under. Therefore, it’s hard to suggest he doesn’t give you a chance when you’re good enough.

Bogusz appeared regularly in pre-season, scoring against Western Sydney Wanderers with a sweeping finish from just inside the area.

It was a piece of play that typified what he brings, a threat from the edge of the box.

Against Bristol City U23s last Sunday, the teenager hit the woodwork twice and was desperately unlucky not to score.

The threat to the opposition goal he poses, contributing to four strikes in four games at one point for the academy last term, should be what makes him a valuable option to Bielsa.

Against Swansea, Leeds had over 60% of the possession but couldn’t score. Their midfield looked flatter than usual and judging by the fact Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich were operating in the same space, it’s hardly surprising. Perhaps a more dynamic Bogusz was required?

This is a player who Klich himself has said will probably be better than him, suggesting he couldn’t offer his understudy much advice.

Earlier this term, Bielsa admitted that he was ready for first-team football, hinting that he would feature when Leeds travelled to Salford.

However, he didn’t play. He didn’t even come off the bench despite the game being wrapped up.

And indeed he is yet to appear in the league either, something that’s particularly puzzling.

Of course there is still a long way in the season to go but he was one of the few young players who stood out against Stoke in the League Cup.

Against senior opposition, he had four shots according to Wyscout, as he regularly managed to work the opening for himself. This is something that may have proved valuable in Leeds’ clash with Swansea when, try as they might, they simply couldn’t find the net.

He didn’t manage any key passes on that occasion but his mere presence in attack was on display.

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Bogusz was assured in possession, completing 88% of his passes whilst winning 54% of his duels too, per Wyscout.

Considering the lack of threat Forshaw brings going forward, perhaps utilising the youngster would have found a solution.

It’s not a stretch to suggest that the Pole is one of the brightest players currently rising through the ranks at Thorp Arch, so Bielsa’s stance must change.

Losing Jack Clarke to Tottenham was a blow, even if he has only played twice this season, but a young player like Bogusz can help them forget about a former prodigy parting ways.

Tyler Roberts’ return means he could be restricted to senior action even more but he should be someone that can provide competition and a plan B.

Simply put, Bielsa must start using him more.

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