Phil Hay believes that Jesse Marsch could well be tempted to hand Georginio Rutter his Leeds United league debut this weekend.
Despite having only signed at the back end of last week and being just 20 years old, Rutter cost a club-record transfer fee, so fans and club owner Andrea Radrizzani will be looking for a return on their star investment pretty soon.
This midweek’s clash in the FA Cup against Cardiff City will come too soon for Rutter to feature as he wasn’t registered when the two sides originally faced off in Wales, but he will at least have some time to train with his teammates this week.
Leeds welcome Brentford at the weekend in what could be seen as, perhaps not a must-win game, but certainly a must-not-lose encounter for Marsch, or the pressure will crank up in front of a likely packed-out Elland Road crowd.
Hay has claimed on The Phil Hay Show that Marsch could well throw Rutter in at the deep end this weekend as he looks to snap this poor run of form.
He said: “The question for Marsch this week I suppose will be, does he debut against Brentford at the weekend? He can’t play against Cardiff because he didn’t play in the original cup tie, and I think it’s quite unlikely, even if he was available for this, that he’d be rushed into it.
Will Rutter be a success at Leeds?
“But Brentford gives him a full week to train, and while you wouldn’t necessarily expect Marsch to bomb him straight into the starting lineup, temptation will be there, I think – particularly because of how badly Leeds need a result.”
TIF Thoughts on Rutter’s potential debut…
It would be a potentially risky move from Marsch to throw a 20-year-old that’s never played English football into the starting lineup as it would be a baptism of fire in what is such an important game. That said, he will have to get going sooner or later and he will have been brought in to essentially preserve the Whites’ Premier League status.
Also, the fact that Leeds have started to find some rhythm in the final third, with Wilfried Gnonto and Rodrigo clicking against Aston Villa last Friday – particularly the latter, who has been thriving through the middle this season under Marsch – could see the American trust in his existing attack to come good eventually.
Therefore, given that Rutter is naturally a player that has predominantly performed through the middle himself, we would be surprised to see him immediately start ahead of Rodrigo this weekend, but a cameo off the bench could give the Leeds squad and fans just what they need to get past Brentford.