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Leeds United: Bielsa must turn to Stuart McKinstry amid Phillips injury blow

With recent reports claiming that Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips could be out of action for two months after picking up an injury during the club’s recent 2-2 draw against Brentford at Elland Road, this would be a huge loss for Marcelo Bielsa’s side at a crucial stage of the Premier League season.

The fact that Leeds lost seven of the nine league games that Phillips missed last season and haven’t won any of the four games he’s not played in this season shows just how vital he is for the team.

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Taking into account how Leeds are set to take on Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool for their next three league games, the timing couldn’t have been worse for Phillips to be out of action given how he’s managed to rack up an average of 2.3 tackles per game and 1.2 interceptions per game in the league this season.

With this in mind, it could be time for Bielsa to turn to one of Leeds’ rarely seen youth players to come in while Phillips is out injured.

19-year-old midfielder Stuart McKinstry has made a total of 41 appearances for Leeds across their U18, U23 and senior side, scoring two goals and providing seven assists in the process since joining from Motherwell’s U18 side back in the 2019 summer transfer window.

Labelled as a “fabulous” player in the past by Motherwell’s academy director Steven Hammell, McKinstry’s only senior Premier League appearance for Leeds came during a very short cameo in their 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur last month.

McKinstry was, however, on the substitutes bench for their recent 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, making that his sixth appearance in a senior matchday squad this season, showing that he is on the fringes of the first-team.

Would you like to see Bielsa give McKinstry regular minutes in the PL?

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Moving forward, even though Leeds have a fairly tough run of fixtures ahead of them with the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool next up for Bielsa’s side, it could be a real baptism of fire for McKinstry if he’s given his first start of the season on Tuesday against Pep Guardiola’s side.

However, this could be his best opportunity to show Bielsa and everyone else at Leeds that he is capable of playing regularly in the first team against the top teams in the league as an extra midfield option alongside the likes of Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich.

In other news: Orta can cement Leeds’ PL status by signing “extraordinary” £9m-rated “catalyst” – opinion

Article title: Leeds United: Bielsa must turn to Stuart McKinstry amid Phillips injury blow

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