Leeds United defender Robin Koch limped off against Chelsea in the Whites’ 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday night but Bielsa could have a natural replacement in 17-year-old Nohan Kenneh.
The German international looked to be struggling in the opening stages of the game against Frank Lampard’s side and was replaced after less than 10 minutes after he had gone down clutching his knee.
He was replaced by Spanish centre-back Diego Llorente, who made his first start for the club after missing the first two months of the season with a groin injury.
This leaves Bielsa with just Llorente, Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk as fit senior centre-backs in this side, and as we approach a busy Christmas period, you worry that if the Argentinian manager doesn’t rotate his side, then he will suffer more injuries in his defence.
Fortunately, he also has 17-year-old Kenneh available to him, with the academy graduate having trained with the first-team in recent weeks, so he is clearly knocking on the door for a start in Bielsa’s side.
Therefore Koch’s injury, whilst unfortunate, gives the Leeds manager the perfect opportunity to unleash Kenneh and show fans what the young academy sensation is capable of.
The England U17 starlet is yet to make a senior appearance for the Elland Road outfit but has made seven appearances for the academy sides so far this season.
Leeds have five more Premier League games between now and the new year, so surely Bielsa will be tempted to make some changes to his squad to try and avoid his senior players being overexerted, which could lead to Kenneh being an opportunity to shine.
The 17-year-old can play as both a centre-back and a defensive-midfielder too, which gives Bielsa some more freedom in where he wants to play him if he decides that he isn’t ready to feature as a centre-back in the Premier League.
Either way, Koch’s injury is a blow for Leeds, so it will be interesting to see if Bielsa trusts Kenneh, or any other youngster, to replace him in the upcoming fixtures.