Leeds United may be wise to shift to three centre-backs after youngster Dario Del Fabro impressed on Sunday.
Leeds United manager Neil Redfearn picked a surprising but effective team for his side’s FA Cup encounter with Sunderland on Sunday.
Among the youngsters and the fringe players was Dario Del Fabro, a 19-year-old Italian centre-back who had yet to feature for Leeds’ first team but who looked impressive alongside Liam Cooper.
The two players performed brilliantly against their Premier League opponents, conceding just one goal and limiting the Black Cats to eight shots on target.
Such was Del Fabro’s performance that a number of Leeds fans soon called for the teenager to start the club’s next match – a Championship encounter with Bolton Wanderers on Saturday – with some suggesting Redfearn should play three centre-backs and switch to a 3-5-2 formation with wing-backs.
Much has been said about Jason Pearce’s contribution to Leeds’ season, with Cooper and Giuseppe Bellusci the preferred options when fit; but could Del Fabro play alongside them, giving the side extra stability at the back?
There is no reason for Redfearn not to at least try it, considering Leeds’ recent struggles and the need for things to change in the league in 2015.
Del Fabro certainly showed that he can compete against quality players and Redfearn is not averse to playing youngsters if they are deemed good enough.
The only question is: Would the Leeds boss be brave enough to play a new formation when every point is vital?