With United’s current difficulties – and lack of depth – in the forward department, could it be time for Marcelo Bielsa to turn to another one of his young guns?
18-year-old striker Ryan Edmondson is yet to be involved with the first-team squad this season, but with Patrick Bamford somewhat misfiring, could the youngster provide the goalscoring presence currently missing.
It’s a lot to ask of a youngster, to come into a pressurised situation at a Championship club. However, the fact United offered Edmondson a long-term contract just last year clearly shows he is highly rated by the club and that breakthrough into Bielsa’s first team may not be too far away.
So would the youngster be ready? That’s probably an impossible question to answer without him being thrown into the mix to find out. He doesn’t have too much first-team experience behind him as of yet, making a few appearances for both York City (his first club) and United combined.
He is, however, highly thought of. His name has been mentioned across social media and club forums for some time now, with many in the belief that an opportunity can’t be far away, especially in the present situation.
26-year-old Bamford is experienced at Championship level and offers the physical abilities to occupy defenders and the technical ones to find the net with some superb strikes. What he isn’t, however, is a natural goalscorer, often reacting too slow to opportunities and not clinical enough with any kind of regularity.
Whether Edmondson is yet ready to take his place and play second-tier football consistently will require careful consideration though. Does he have the necessary physicality and nous to trouble defenders at this level? Is this something that comes naturally to him or does he first need to hone his skills through loan spells in lower leagues? Does the England Under-19 international have the mentality and mindset to perform regularly at a high level of senior football yet?
These are all things to consider, but Bielsa has shown his faith in youth on regular occasions, and with Leeds missing something ‘up top’, Edmondson’s chance to shine may come soon enough.