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Leeds: Jesse Marsch dealt fitness setback ahead of Leicester

Leeds United have been dealt a fitness setback ahead of their Premier League meeting with Leicester City this evening.

What’s the latest?

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Jesse Marsch revealed that, despite Adam Forshaw “feeling really good” in his recovery from an ankle injury, the central midfielder will not be fit for the trip to the King Power tonight.

Speaking about the current condition of the 31-year-old, the American manager said: “Adam’s coming back from injury but feeling really good.”

Additionally, injury analyst Ben Dinnery claimed in a post on Twitter that, despite the 48-year-old coach previously suggesting that Forshaw could be in line for a return to action this weekend, the Liverpool-born talent is still a couple of weeks away from featuring once more for the Whites.

In his post, Dinnery said: “Adam Forshaw is ‘feeling good’ although he is still a few weeks away.”

Bad news for Marsch

With central midfield not exactly being a position in which Leeds possess fantastic depth, coupled with how impressive Forshaw was in the heart of the Whites side last season, the fact that the 31-year-old looks as if he will remain sidelined for the foreseeable is undoubtedly bad news for Marsch and his side.

Indeed, at present, the 48-year-old has the options of Marc Roca, Tyler Adams and Mateusz Klich in the middle of the park – meaning that Leeds are just one injury or suspension away from being completely down to their bare bones in central midfield.

And, while it is true that a series of lengthy injury layoffs have seen his game time somewhat limited at Elland Road, the midfielder has nevertheless proven that, when fully fit and firing, he is an incredibly important part of the Whites’ squad.

Indeed, over his 22 Premier League appearances last season, the £2.6m-rated talent made an average of 2.4 tackles – the sixth-most in the Leeds side – 0.9 interceptions, 0.5 clearances and won 4.1 duels – at a success rate of 51% – per game.

The £20k-per-week engine also impressed going forwards, providing his teammates with one assist, in addition to completing an average of 31.4 passes – at an 84% success rate – finding his man with 2.4 long balls and making 0.6 key passes per game.

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These returns saw the 31-year-old – who Jonathan Woodgate dubbed “the best player on the pitch” in a 4-2 defeat against Manchester United earlier this year – average a very respectable SofaScore match rating of 6.73, ranking him as Marsch’s 13th-best performer in the top flight of English football in 2021/22.

As such, it is clear to see that Forshaw’s continued absence for the trip to Leicester will come as a blow to Leeds, as not only does the midfielder provide fantastic cover for the likes of Adams and Roca in the middle of the park, he can also make a real impact for the Whites when called upon.