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Marcelo Bielsa and his Leeds United coaches were shouting at Charlie Cresswell to play as a striker as soon as West Ham United scored on Saturday.

That’s according to The Athletic, who claim that Cresswell was picked out as the man to try and cause problems late on against the Hammers.

Raphinha had put Leeds 1-0 up in the first half, but a Junior Firpo own goal brought West Ham level.

Michail Antonio landed the final blow, finishing past Illan Meslier with just minutes left.

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Cresswell thrown forward as auxiliary striker

We associate Marcelo Bielsa with bold, progressive and adventurous football.

Yet with Leeds in desperate need of a late goal, Plan A was thrown out of the window.

With Cresswell a slightly more physical figure than Liam Cooper, the youngster was the man chosen to go forward.

It didn’t really work. Leeds couldn’t find the equaliser, and Cresswell sadly tasted defeat on his Premier League debut.

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Cresswell stats on Premier League bow

With Robin Koch, Pascal Struijk, Luke Ayling and Diego Llorente all unavailable, Cresswell had to start against West Ham.

The 19-year-old didn’t particularly look out of place, recording three aerial duels, three clearance and one interception.

Bielsa will be gutted with the defeat, and with the failed plan of putting Cresswell up top late on to nick a goal.

He will though have seen plenty from Cresswell to suggest that he will have a long-term future in the Leeds first-team setup.

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