Bielsa should consider Clarke Oduor for Leeds' bench at Birmingham

General view of outside of Elland Road prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers at Elland Road on February 23, 2019 in Leeds, England.

Leeds United will be without Barry Douglas for the rest of the season due to injury.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield United at Elland Road on March 16, 2019 in Leeds, England.

Leeds' promotion push in the Championship is all the more remarkable because Marcelo Bielsa is now set to go through the entire campaign without ever having a fully fit squad.

With Kemar Roofe coming back from injury, it had appeared that Bielsa would finally have his entire senior squad to pick from for Saturday's game with Birmingham City. However, Barry Douglas has since put a spanner in the works.

 

The left-back was injured in a 50-50 challenge with Jed Wallace in the win against Millwall, and the club have now confirmed that the Scot will miss the rest of the campaign.

Douglas' injury will not force Bielsa into changing his starting lineup for the trip to St Andrew's. Gjanni Alioski will surely start, but there is perhaps an opening for one of the under-23s to be promoted to the bench.

Leeds United's Barry Douglas gets past Sheffield United's Chris Basham  during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield United at Elland Road on March 16, 2019 in...

Leif Davis is the obvious candidate to come in if Bielsa does look for a replacement for Douglas - though both Gaetano Berardi and Stuart Dallas were also on the bench at the weekend.

But perhaps Bielsa should also consider handing Clarke Oduor a chance to push for a spot on the bench. Oduor is one of the most exciting talents in the under-23 squad and has had some experience of playing at left-back for Carlos Corberan's men.

Oduor looks destined to make the grade further up the pitch, but his versatility and the excitement that he would bring should leave him under consideration. 

General view of outside of Elland Road prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers at Elland Road on February 23, 2019 in Leeds, England.

If the game against Garry Monk's side is tight and Bielsa needs to make a change, of course, using Berardi, Dallas or even Jamie Shackleton with a tactical reshuffle makes more sense.

But if Leeds do manage to get themselves comfortably ahead at any stage, perhaps there could be an opportunity to bring Oduor onto the field for only his second senior appearance. The pressure would be off and the teenager could show some of his frightening potential.

The 19-year-old looks to have the ability to follow the likes of Jack Clarke, Davis and Shackleton into the first-team fold. Perhaps Douglas' injury could be reflected upon as the catalyst for his emergence into the senior side. 

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