Kevin Phillips has suggested that Leeds United’s on-loan striker Jean-Kevin Augustin is set to have a big impact on the side as they head towards the promotion run-in, but only if he can open his account soon.
The Whites look on course for the Premier League as they sit three points clear of third place with 13 games left to play, after their impressive 1-0 win over Bristol City at the weekend.
One player who has yet to make an impact under Marcelo Bielsa is January recruit, Jean-Kevin Augustin, who arrived on loan until the end of the season from RB Leipzig and turned a lot of heads by agreeing to the move to Elland Road.
A very talented striker that has rubbed elbows with some of the hottest properties in European football, Augustin was tipped to hit the ground running under Bielsa but has since seen his game-time very limited as Bielsa waits patiently for him to build up the required amount of fitness to operate effectively in his system.
Augustin came on to make his third substitute appearance for Leeds since signing as he replaced Patrick Bamford in the second half, but could only muster one shot, which he dragged narrowly wide late on.
Speaking to Football Insider, Kevin Phillips has backed the Frenchman to be a huge asset to the Whites as they push for promotion. He had this to say when asked how he thought Augustin was settling in: “I saw encouraging signs against Bristol City. He has got energy, he has got pace. I have seen signs that he could settle in and perform at this level.
“Unfortunately, he needs to hit the ground running because it is an area that has been a concern for Leeds this season and you cannot rely on midfielders and defenders to score the goals. He and Bamford have to step up.
“Leeds create opportunities. You want your strikers chipping in with goals.
“He needs to get off the mark as soon as he can and being an ex-striker I know what a relief that is, it would give him huge confidence. If he can do that he can be the difference in terms of getting Leeds over the line.”
Up next for Marcelo Bielsa’s men is the visit of Reading to Elland Road, a side that are yet to get a point against the Argentine manager or even score past his side since he arrived at Leeds in the summer of 2018.
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It’s a fair expectation from those affiliated with Leeds to want Augustin to fire in enough goals to help Leeds to clinch promotion this season.
Patrick Bamford’s form hasn’t done much to relieve any of the pressure as he continues to spurn golden opportunities each week.
A goal for Augustin as soon as possible would do wonders for his confidence and could see him become a vital part of Leeds’ automatic promotion bid.
Phillips is speaking from first-hand experience and knows how important that first goal is for a new signing so Augustin will want that to come as soon as possible.