Leeds United defender Leo Hjelde should now be getting more opportunities under Jesse Marsch amid the Whites’ current defensive struggles.
This has been suggested by presenter and YouTuber Conor McGilligan, who has been speaking amid the World Cup break on the One Leeds Fan Channel.
Marsch’s men ended the first part of the Premier League campaign in disappointing fashion, with a dramatic 4-3 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur seeing them slip down to 15th in the table.
During the opening phase of the campaign, the American has felt the need to play Pascal Struijk out of position at left-back following Liam Cooper’s return to the side, however, McGilligan believes Cooper is now past his best.
And with this in mind, the presenter has suggested Marsch should look to some of his youth prospects, with Hjelde being one of the standout young defenders at the club.
He said: “Leo Hjelde is behind Liam Cooper. Now, I think Leo Hjelde is a fantastic prospect. I’m not saying throw him into Premier League football straight away, but surely he should be getting a little bit more exposure.”
TIF Thoughts on McGilligan’s comments…
In the early stages of the 2022/23 campaign, Hjelde had been given the nod by Marsch to feature in a number of matchday squads, but this quickly came to an end upon the return of Cooper.
The only minutes Hjelde has been awarded this season have come in the Carabao Cup, with 90 minutes in each of Leeds’ games against Barnsley and Wolves.
Leeds’ defensive issues have been there for everyone to see, with only three clubs in the league having conceded more than the 26 goals allowed by Marsch’s side.
And with youngster Crysencio Summerville providing a massive boost in attack, we do wonder whether Marsch could look to someone like Hjelde for a similar inspiration in defence.