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If Garry Monk doesn't start summer signing, he should lose him

Leeds manager Garry Monk

Does Matt Grimes have any future at Leeds United if he isn't picked tonight?

With Eunan O'Kane injured, Liam Bridcutt lacking full match fitness and Kalvin Phillips suspended, Matt Grimes will hope to earn a second Championship start for Leeds United when Reading visit Elland Road tonight. If he doesn't, Garry Monk should get rid of him.

The 21-year-old midfielder has started one league match for the Whites since joining on a season-long loan from Swansea City, reuniting with Monk in the process, but it's been a very low-key first few months in Yorkshire.

Logically, he should start alongside Ronaldo Vieira in central midfield this evening. Grimes came on in Friday's 2-0 defeat at Brighton and looked alright during what was only his second Championship appearance since October.

But he is not the only option in the reckoning to replace Phillips, who was sent off at The Amex.

Leeds United's Matt Grimes looks dejected

Toumani Diagouraga, Alex Mowatt and Luke Murphy might also be available and if Monk opts for one of those three instead of Grimes then he might as well rip up the youngster's loan agreement and send him back to South Wales.

What does he add if the likes of Diagouraga and Murphy, exiled to the Under-23s by Monk before the season started, are picked ahead of him?

Realistically speaking, there is little future at Leeds for him whether he starts against the Royals or not, but a spot in the first XI tonight offers hope to a player who must be short on it at the moment.

Leeds manager Garry Monk

You will do well to find a Championship club with better central midfield options than Leeds. It might be harsh, but Grimes is simply taking up a spot in the squad which would probably be better filled by a player of a different position.

A second-choice left-back, winger or striker is going to do far more for United's promotion hopes than a fifth-choice centre mid, barring a severe injury crisis.

In fact, the writing was probably on the wall for Grimes when Monk signed O'Kane before the summer transfer window closed. It just pushed him further down the pecking order and it was perhaps the first nail in his coffin. The final one could and should come tonight if he is overlooked again.

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