With the Premier League season set to get underway this month, Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa will no doubt be contemplating what his starting line-up will be for the first game of the campaign.
While Adam Forshaw may be a forgotten man at Elland Road given his recent injury history, he’s someone who the Whites manager should be finally looking to unleash.
Speaking towards the end of last season, Bielsa himself said of the 29-year-old: “He has basically been not playing for two seasons and to be able to play 90 minutes at a high competition after being healthy – there is still a while to go before you’re ready for that.
“He’s healthy, and has two months left of the season to prove that he is finally over his issues. We all hope it will be like this, because he is a very important player and he has made a massive effort to overcome the situation that he’s been through.”
The midfielder has endured a difficult spell at Leeds for well over a year now, with injuries seeing him miss the entire Premier League season – in fact, his only appearance of 2020/21 came at Premier League 2 level when he was given a runout against Aston Villa’s under-23s back in mid-April.
With Leeds lacking natural cover for Kalvin Phillips, and a new central midfielder still having yet to be signed, Forshaw’s comeback from injury is a timely one.
Given the long road that the £20k-a-week ace has travelled to getting to this point, Bielsa will be intent not to rush him back anytime soon.
Former Premier League striker Kevin Campbell recently said: “What I want him to do is get the first three months in without getting an injury, then he can hopefully start to play a few games and go from there.
“When you’re on that slippery slope of an injury it’s not good. The world seems like the sky is falling in. He could save them money but availability is everything. He’s a decent midfielder.”
Writing for The Athletic, Phil Hay backed Forshaw to enjoy a redemption season, saying: “Can his body hold up? Could he adapt quickly to the pace of the Premier League? The thing about Forshaw is that he is one of Bielsa’s favourite players at Leeds; someone who Bielsa has genuinely been heard to describe privately as having the right attributes for a Champions League side.”
Bielsa could save millions in the transfer market by giving Forshaw the chance to impress in midfield, and hopefully we will soon see the 29-year-old back in action at Elland Road.