Is Leeds United’s decision not to invest during January going to come back and bite them?
Their wins over Leicester and Crystal Palace suggests not. However, their rapidly increasingly injury list suggests they should have brought in a few players.
Leeds currently have a number of key men out injured. They are still without Robin Koch and Diego Llorente in defence while club-record signing Rodrigo is also out.
He came off during the win over Leicester and Stuart Dallas has been forced to play in midfield since. The Spaniard now faces a few weeks out with a groin injury.
Another attacking player who faces a couple of weeks out is Ian Poveda. The winger is suffering from an ankle problem but shouldn’t be too big a miss for United.
He hasn’t started a single league game this term but his place in the squad could quite easily be taken by a young individual pulling up trees for Mark Jackson’s U23 side.
When Crysencio Summerville signed for the Whites during the summer, it was expected that he’d have a large role to play for Jackson’s team.
That has certainly been the case but after featuring 21 times in the top-flight of Dutch football last term, he has a right to feel hard done by in terms of senior outings at Elland Road.
He’s not been seen once in the first-team which given his qualities and indeed the potential he possesses, is a disappointment.
Dutch media have been left baffled by his decision to leave the Netherlands but now he has a real opportunity to demonstrate why he moved by staking a claim. Leeds are blessed with a number of young players in attack but Summerville is arguably one of the most vibrant.
He is an electrifying phenomenon, a player capable of dazzling and embarrassing full-backs in equal measure. Summerville’s performances for the U23s have been impeccable and if there was ever a chance for Bielsa to unleash him, it has to be now with Poveda out injured.
Described as a “bag of tricks” by Chris Powell, someone who worked alongside the teen at ADO Den Haag, he scored a hat-trick against Burnley U23s on just his second start for the club earlier this season.
Meanwhile, during Leeds’ 4-2 win over Middlesbrough in Premier League 2 last Sunday, he was the most creative youngster on the pitch. Summerville provided three assists for his teammates, all in a radiant first-half display.
Writing at full-time, Leeds Live reporter Joe Donnohue waxed lyrical: “The Dutchman’s footwork, close control, balance and unwavering composure is a class above. His first-half hat-trick of assists just goes to show how effective he is gliding through games at U23 level. If it weren’t for Joe Gelhardt, Summerville would have comfortably taken home the Man of the Match award.
“With every dribble and carry it is so clear he protects the ball so intelligently despite his slight frame.”
The teenager is evidently finding academy football rather easy and if he’s to develop further, he needs to be given exposure at first-team level.
Now is the 19-year-old’s opportunity to shine on the senior stage. Bielsa has to unleash him now Poveda is no longer an option. Summerville’s qualities could terrify Premier League defenders.