With just 31 minutes of Premier League football under his belt this season, Leeds United starlet Leif Davis hasn’t had too many opportunities to impress.
Marcelo Bielsa has stuck to the tried-and-trusted option of Ezgjan Alioski at left-back, but if the Leeds boss is keen to get the best out of the 21-year-old Davis, then he would be wise to throw him into the starting line-up.
Speaking on The Inside Elland Road Podcast after a game with QPR last season, Yorkshire Evening Post journalist, Graham Smyth, said: “When Leif Davis came on, he just really showcased his pace. Legs were tiring and QPR were maybe a little bit more open because they were 2-0 down away from home and thinking they had to go for it a little bit and Davis just exploited that space on the left flank.
“For a defender, that is terrifying, somebody coming on with that kind of pace. It was reminiscent of Gareth Bale against Inter Milan, pushing the ball ahead and backing himself to beat anyone else to it.”
And according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, Davis is highly-rated by those in and around the club, saying: “He’s very well thought of, is Davis, and he has been since he came, and of the Under-23s, he’s really been as involved as most under Bielsa and has quite often been the go-to player when Bielsa’s needed a left-back.
“The bottom line is that at Leeds, they think an awful lot of Davis, and they think that he’s a bit of a steal for what they paid to sign him from Morecambe.”
If Leeds do genuinely rate Davis highly, then this surely represents the perfect time for him to step in for Alioski. The 28-year-old has had a difficult season thus far at Elland Road, and could do with being dropped from the team.
In Davis, Bielsa already has someone who he can use to provide the type of attacking spark and drive that Alioski was known for bringing to the table, and he may even surprise him from a defensive standpoint too.
With Newcastle United up next in the Premier League, it’s perhaps the perfect time for the Leeds boss to start one of the club’s most promising young players and put the underperforming North Macedonian international on the bench.