Leeds have opted to reward Bryce Hosannah with a new two-year contract. The 21-year-old defender is currently on loan with Bradford City, where he will play out a season-long deal until he returns to Elland Road.
Opting to put an extra year on his contract is likely part of a mastermind Victor Orta and Marcelo Bielsa plan to see if he has what it takes to become Luke Ayling’s understudy. Indeed, the 21-year-old is yet to make his senior debut for Leeds, but it could be on the cards once he returns from his loan spell. Should he impress, a lucrative long-term deal will surely be on the cards.
The Whites are struggling in the Premier League at the moment after being dealt back-to-back 4-1 defeats by Leicester and Crystal Palace respectively. Bielsa has a few issues to deal with in his squad, but the biggest is arguably his inconsistent defence.
Leeds started the season strongly but have now slipped down into 15th place in the league table. If things continue as they are, the long 16-year wait to return to England’s top flight will be soured by a disappointing drop back down to the Championship. The Whites have conceded the joint most amount of goals so far this season with 17. Only West Brom – who are currently in the bottom three – have shipped the same number.
Bielsa currently has three young defenders waiting in the wings to be called upon for first team action. Leif Davis, Pascal Struijk and Oliver Casey are all named senior players for this season, with only Struijk getting a major sniff of the action so far.
By putting trust into Hosannah once he returns to Leeds, Bielsa could place him under the wing of Luke Ayling, who has become one of the team’s key players. Not only will the youngster flourish rapidly under the 29-year-old’s guidance, but he will serve as injury covers as and when called upon.
Hosannah has already impressed at Bradford, with manager Stuart McCall branding him a “big attacking threat”. Not only could he become another body in defence, but he could help contribute to Leeds’ struggling attack too.
The club’s only other recognised senior right-back is the injured Gaetano Berardi, who is out of contract next summer. Putting big responsibility in the hands of Hosannah could be the making of him, and it could prove to be a crucial decision if Leeds survive their first season back in the Premier League.