What next for Lewie Coyle with Gaetano Berardi standing in the way of first-team chances?

Leeds United East Stand

The Leeds United youngster has the skill but how long will he have to wait before he plays regularly?

In a recent interview with BBC West Yorkshire Sport, Leeds United manager Steve Evans said he was keen to give young right-back Lewie Coyle more chances this season.

The problem is, while Coyle was once competing with the much maligned Scott Wootton for a starting spot at Elland Road, now he is up against a considerably better player in the form of Gaetano Berardi.

There is no doubt Coyle has the talent to start for Leeds for the next decade or more, but just how often he plays – at least at full-back – could be determined by the long-term future of the Swiss defender.

Berardi has played regularly for Leeds since returning from injury and with a contract until the summer of 2018 he is unlikely to be going anywhere.

So what next for Coyle?

There are seemingly three possibilities for the 20-year-old next season: Wait for chances as back-up to Berardi, head out on loan for regular first-team football or switch to the wing in much the same way Sam Byram did near the end of his time at the club.

Coyle certainly has the ability to excel further forward, and Leeds manager Steve Evans will not want to lose him for half a season or more given his progress to date.

The problem is, Coyle is ready to play week in, week out for Leeds, but circumstances could prevent that for a while yet.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch