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Why Leeds should have started Botaka ahead of Buckley against Birmingham

Leeds United manager Uwe Rosler made a mistake in terms of winger selection this weekend.

Will Buckley’s Leeds United debut did not go quite according to plan, with the Sunderland loanee featuring for just 57 minutes of his new club’s Championship match against Birmingham City, and in truth Whites boss Uwe Rosler should have done things a little differently in that regard.

Buckley had not played previously a first-team match this season, turning out just twice for Sunderland’s under-21 team and not enjoying any competitive football for over a month.

Despite training with Leeds for a while now, it was unrealistic to expect Buckley to impress from the outset against Birmingham and a more sensible option would have been for Rosler to start Jordan Botaka before introducing the 25-year-old in the second half.

Botaka played five matches for Excelsior this season before moving to Elland Road and the young winger featured for 64 minutes against Middlesbrough last weekend.

As a result, the 22-year-old was ready for the Birmingham match while Buckley – simply put – was not.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing in football as it is in life, but Leeds were left to pay for starting a player who needs more time to settle with his new teammates and to increase his fitness.

In time, both Buckley and Botaka should have huge roles to play at Leeds, but this weekend at least, it was the latter who should have been called on from the start.

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