Leeds United supporters will surely be furious with footage to have surfaced on Twitter showing a strong challenge from John McGinn in their pre-season friendly on Sunday.
Jesse Marsch’s side tasted defeat in Australia after Danny Ings provided Aston Villa with a narrow 1-0 victory, however, a bitter taste will have been left in the mouths of those involved at Leeds.
The challenge from the Scotsman on youngster Archie Gray forced the 16-year-old to be stretchered off the pitch, with a serious injury a possibility.
Gray is yet to make his competitive Leeds debut, however, he has played a prominent role across their youth sides last season, with a combined 25 appearances in their U18s and U23s setups (via Transfermarkt).
Speaking after the game, Marsch shared his understanding of the youngster’s injury, and although there is a belief nothing is broken, it will still be a painful one for Gray:
“He was in some pain initially when they assessed it after the match. They’re hopeful nothing’s broken and it’s just an ankle sprain. We’ll see exactly the severity of it in the next couple of days, but hopefully not too bad,” Marsch said.
TIF Thoughts on the challenge…
This is a really poor challenge from the experienced Scotsman. We do not necessarily believe he has gone in to hurt the youngster, however, there is an evident lack of control.
Would VAR have sent McGinn off in England?
A challenge like this would have been hard enough to accept in the Premier League – which would’ve likely seen VAR intervene – but in a pre-season friendly, it makes it even more difficult to contemplate.
Pre-season is a time where clubs aim to build on their players’ fitness levels – and doing so without picking up any injuries along the way.
It is unknown how much of a role Gray would’ve played under Marsch this season without a potentially long-term injury, however, this could put a big dent into his game time with the season less than three weeks away.