Leeds United have to do without a regular centre-back for at least two matches, so could Dario Del Fabro step forward in his absence?
Leeds United teenager Dario Del Fabro impressed on his debut for the club earlier this season, when he was chosen to play in the heart of their defence against Premier League side Sunderland.
The young Italian did not look out of place, with Neil Redfearn’s side narrowly losing the FA Cup third round tie 1-0 at the Stadium of Light.
Indeed, such was the impressive partnership Del Fabro quickly developed with fellow centre-back Liam Cooper that some Leeds fans were calling for the pair to play again the following week.
That was not to be, with Del Fabro returning to the under-21s and Cooper partnered by the far more experienced Giuseppe Bellusci.
But could the Italian’s disciplinary record see Redfearn hand more chances to the impressive 19-year-old in the coming weeks?
Recent reports from Italian website TMW have suggested Leeds are closing in on Palermo centre-back Sol Bamba, while Redfearn also has Jason Pearce at his disposal.
But the latter has been used sparingly in recent times while the former is yet to arrive at Elland Road and – if he does so – he make take time to settle.
Bellusci’s red card in Leeds’ 1-0 win against Bournemouth on Tuesday means the Italian will now miss the club’s next two matches, while he is also on the verge of another two-match ban should he collect one more yellow card before April 11.
Add to that the fact that Bellusci still has a charge of misconduct for alleged racist abuse (as reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post) hanging over him and there is the possibility that Leeds may need fresh faces in defence on a number of occasions before the season is out; and Del Fabro showed against Sunderland that he is more than up to the task.
Of course Pearce may be the more viable option, but Redfearn has already shown just how much faith he has in the club’s youth, so why not allow another to show what he can do in the absence of his countryman?