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Steve Evans insists Mirco Antenucci still has a big part to play for Leeds United

Leeds United striker Mirco Antenucci has been linked with a move back to Italy.

Steve Evans has told Radio Yorkshire that Mirco Antenucci still has a part to play at Leeds United, as long as he wants to take it.

Antenucci has been linked with a move back to Italy in the Yorkshire Evening Post, and it is said the striker would like to return to his homeland.

However, Evans says that the 31-year-old still remains part of his first-team plans at Elland Road, as he is a player who he rates highly.

“Antenucci has got a part to play,” Evans said. “It depends how much Mirco wants to play that part. I’ve never hidden my love for the player, I brought him straight into the team when I took over. He’s got a big part to play.”

Antenucci did make a bright start under Evans’ stewardship, and he was partnered with Chris Wood up front for the early part of the 53-year-old boss’s tenure.

However, as time has passed, Antenucci has slipped further down the pecking order at the Yorkshire club.

Souleymane Doukara’s four goals in six matches have secured his place in Leeds’ first team, while Wood remains Evans’ preferred choice up-front when fit.

Antenucci did play in Leeds’ 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup, however, and he impressed with his showing.

The clinical finisher did not get on the scoresheet, but he showed his class - and he will be hoping that his performance gets him more regular appearances, as the campaign progresses.

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