Leeds United have received a timely injury boost ahead of their return to Premier League action next week…
As revealed by The Athletic’s Phil Hay in his latest column, Adam Forshaw has seemingly returned to first-team training, where he took part in Marcelo Bielsa’s intense preparations, including the infamous ‘murderball’.
‘The last Sunday of the transfer window was a typical day at Leeds United: a late-morning session of murderball featuring the usual suspects. Adam Forshaw took part, testing his injured hamstring, but a search for new faces out on the grass drew a blank,’ he wrote.
The 30-year-0ld midfielder picked up a problem just 22 minutes into their 3-2 win over West Ham United in the top-flight before the break. Soon after providing the assist for Jack Harrison’s opener – his first of three goals that day – the long-serving star had to be withdrawn, adding to Bielsa’s injury woes.
When the word injury is bounded about alongside Forshaw’s name, there is certainly worry as the former Boro man has endured his fair share of nightmarish issues over the years at Elland Road.
But since his return to the side, he has been a real bright spark, even more so in the absence of fellow midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who is currently recovering from hamstring surgery and isn’t likely to be back for another month yet.
His amazing comeback has been nothing short of remarkable and that sort of progress has been highlighted by Bielsa this year.
“It is very difficult for me to refer myself to Forshaw, in this moment where he’s given such a valuable response, because I didn’t think Forshaw was going to be the player he was once before,” he told the official website. He later added:
“The club will make a very convenient decision if they extended Forshaw because every week he’s showing he’s a player of a very good level.”
Indeed, the veteran has since been rewarded with a new contract extension. He ranks joint-second amongst the squad for tackles (2.3 per game) and is one of their more accomplished passers, averaging a pass accuracy of 83%, which is actually slightly better than Phillips, via WhoScored.
According to The Athletic, Bielsa has claimed that Forshaw has the ‘right attributes’ for a Champions League side behind the scenes – a rather glowing endorsement of just how influential the midfielder is.
Therefore, the Argentine will be absolutely buzzing to have him available heading into their clash with Aston Villa in a week’s time.