Kevin Phillips has urged Leeds United to name 19-year-old striker Ryan Edmondson on the bench moving forward to provide them with a Patrick Bamford alternative.
The Whites failed to find the net as they got their Championship campaign back underway last weekend, losing 2-0 to Cardiff City.
As has been the case on a number of occasions this season, Bielsa’s men had more possession and attempts on goal but couldn’t make that dominance count.
It was a disappointing afternoon for Bamford, who registered no shots on target, missed two ‘big chances’ (Sofascore), and blocked Jack Harrison’s goalbound attempt on the line.
With Jean-Kevin Augustin sidelined due to injury, Bielsa does not have another out-and-out centre-forward in his squad, something that Phillips believes needs to change.
Speaking to Football Insider, he urged the Whites to add U23s frontman Edmondson to their squad moving forward.
He said: “They should have Edmondson on the bench.
“It puts pressure on Bamford. When you know you have not got anybody on the bench that can come on and replace you, you can almost slip into that comfort zone knowing that even if you play at 75% you are not getting brought off.
“It is a concern for me and I think you should put the young kid on the bench. He might do something that changes a game.
“His enthusiasm will be there and his desire because he will want to impress.”
The 19-year-old made his first-team debut for Leeds back in 2018 but has featured just once since and has not been included in a single matchday this squad this term, despite firing in goals for Carlos Corberan’s U23s over the past few seasons.
Leeds host Fulham at Elland Road on Saturday in what looks to be a pivotal clash in the race for promotion as a win could see them go 10 points clear of the play-off places.
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You can see where Phillips is coming from here but given that it doesn’t seem as if Edmondson was brought back to training with the Leeds senior squad, it’s unrealistic at this point.
Sunday’s game will have been a concern, however, particularly with Bamford looking unconvincing in front of goal and Roberts starting in attacking midfield.
If Bamford can’t get firing and Augustin doesn’t return, Bielsa and Leeds may rue the decision not to include Edmondson.
With games set to come thick and fast in the Championship, the Argentine’s preference for a thin squad could cause issues for the Whites.
That said, a victory on Saturday and would put them in a fantastic position to secure automatic promotion and likely ease most of their concerns.