Former England international Kevin Phillips has been left somewhat fearful of the chances of Leeds United suffering in front of goal after Jean-Kevin Augustin developed a hamstring injury.
Boss Marcelo Bielsa confirmed that the RB Leipzig loanee faced a spell on the sidelines ahead of Saturday’s trip to Hull City, with the Argentine noting that Augustin had developed a muscular issue.
The blow had already kept the Frenchman from featuring in our 1-0 win at Middlesbrough, leaving Augustin with just 48 minutes of Championship football to his name since moving to Elland Road in the January window.
With Patrick Bamford struggling to find the back of the net of late, too, Phillips has grown concerned that any lengthy absence for Augustin could see the club struggle to pull off favourable results without other players stepping up to the challenge.
And what’s more, Phillips feels it could have been Bielsa’s fault that Augustin sustained his injury, having stated shortly after the 22-year-old’s arrival that he was unfit having played so infrequently while on loan with AS Monaco.
“When he has come in, he has looked lively and I thought he would get a start but he has picked up an injury,” Phillips told Football Insider. “There was reports he came to the club unfit, so maybe they have pushed him a bit and it has backfired.
Is Bielsa to blame for Augustin's injury?
“He [Bielsa] has persisted with Bamford in front of goal but it has not happened for him this season, so it is up to others to chip in with goals.
“It will be a slight concern for the run-in, but if he can get players chipping in from other areas then that will ease the problem a little bit. You hope that they do not go into another blip with no back-up striker options.”
Phillips is right to point out Bamford’s recent struggles, as while the Grantham-born forward has remained as our leading goalscorer in the Championship this season with 12 goals, he has not found the net since firing a brace at home to Millwall on January 28.
The 26-year-old has since started seven league games in a row without scoring, despite producing seven shots against Wigan Athletic and five against Middlesbrough, and his problems mounted further on Saturday as he failed to register a single effort away to Hull, per WhoScored data.
Thankfully Tyler Roberts was able to do what Phillips is adamant others must and find a way to score, with the 21-year-old coming off the bench to fire home twice within 17 minutes of his introduction.
If Augustin faces a lengthy spell out, it is now time for Roberts to step up and prove his worth on a consistent basis.