The Chalkboard: Saiz has given Bielsa a real conundrum ahead of Leeds vs Reading

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa stuck with the four players – Pablo Hernandez, Adam Forshaw, Mateusz Klich and Ezgjan Alioski – he has trusted to start recently behind the lone striker in his side’s 2-0 win against Bristol City at Elland Road on Saturday.

Samu Saiz is one of the players that has been left frustrated on the substitutes’ bench in recent weeks having been dropped because of poor form, but he once again gave his manager something to think about ahead of welcoming Reading to Yorkshire on Tuesday night with another impressive contribution when he did come on in the second half.

While the Argentine boss is struggling for depth between the sticks and in the backline, it is a different story further forward for Bielsa and he has a big selection conundrum for the visit of the Royals.

Hernandez and Saiz must start

While the latter hasn’t been in the best of form in 2018 in general, it appears as though some time out of the starting XI has made a big impact on the Spaniard.

He has come off of the substitutes’ bench to provide an assist – both for Hernandez – in Leeds’ previous two Championship fixtures, and it seems clear that the Whites are more likely to be more of an attacking threat when they have both of those players on the pitch.

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Who drops out?

Unless Bielsa is willing to change formation, which seems unlikely right now, then one of the remaining three players behind the striker would need to drop out of the starting XI.

It seems obvious that the Argentine likes having Kalvin Phillips, Mateusz Klich and Adam Forshaw in the centre, which leaves the out-of-form Ezgjan Alioski looking particularly vulnerable on the left-hand side having provided no goals and just one assist in his previous eight Championship outings.

The Macedonia international does provide some nice balance for the team though, and Bielsa would be making a big call to replace him with Saiz who perhaps could be considered more of a luxury player.

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