Leeds United

Leeds United: Jesse Marsch is buzzing over injury boost

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Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch has been given a “massive” boost in the Whites’ narrow draw with Southampton as several first-team players return from injuries, as journalist Graham Smyth shared what the American said.

Leeds was unfortunate not to come away with all three points after their close battle with Southampton after they dominated in possession with 56% and outpassed the Saints by 110 passes. Tricky winger Jack Harrison opened the scoring in the 29th minute with his sixth of the season before another world-class free-kick from James Ward-Prowse tied up the game in the 49th minute.

Despite only taking a single point from the game, Leeds were been given a huge boost by the return of several key players to the first team including the likes of England international Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper, Pascal Struijk and Joe Gelhardt.

The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Smyth reported Marsch was buzzing with the addition of the players as he relayed his words:

“Pascal was also positive in the break, coming back out of Covid, he picked up a little hamstring injury so he didn’t train fully,” said Marsch.

“Cooper had [trained]. He looked strong and good and clear, it was a relatively easy decision to make given the circumstances. I was concerned whether Coops could make 90 mins. Given the way it went, it was good he was able to play a full match. The point is important in our season, to have Kalv [Phillips] and Liam back in the group is massive in this moment. We need them in a big way, they’re a big presence in our team. Big step forward for us.”

TIF Thoughts on the squad news…

Leeds have struggled all season with various injuries to important players like Patrick Bamford, Phillips and Cooper, so getting at least two of these three back is going to give Marsch’s side a huge boost on and off the pitch as they battle for their Premier League status during the final stages of the season.

Phillips has been out since December but looked as good as he did at Euro 2020 with England this term. The midfielder has impressed in his 13 games, racking up 2.2 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 0.9 clearances, and 1.5 dribbles per game while also boasting an 84.5% passing accuracy with six long balls per game as well, proving he is a do-it-all type of player. (WhoScored)

Cooper is also a rock for the Leeds team at the back and his absence has arguably been a huge reason why they have struggled defensively this season. Marsch is getting back a player who averages two tackles and interceptions per game as well as 3.2 clearances and one block. (WhoScored)

Finally, having Gelhardt back and firing will be important with the continued absence of talisman Bamford. Before the season ends, the 19-year-old will desperately want to improve on his current five goals and assists tally and Marsch could give him the opportunity to.

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