Marcelo Bielsa’s pre-match press conferences are usually dominated by the upcoming match, but his media duties before we face Sheffield Wednesday saw the boss wax lyrical about a gem in our Under 23 ranks.
That young star is Jordan Stevens, who made his first-team debut for the Whites as a late substitute against Stoke back in January, amid a steady flurry of inclusions in the boss’ teamsheet.
Unfortunately, in what can be seen as an early career setback, it seems like a regular first-team role is still far off for the gifted midfielder, who has been left out of the matchday squad on more than 50 occasions since we signed him from Forest Green Rovers.
Instead, Carlos Corberan has been able to utilise Stevens’ emerging abilities in the Professional Development League, where the 19-year-old has bagged six goals in as many games while we clinched the North division title.
That’s not to say Bielsa is not a fan of the Gloucester-born prospect, however.
“He has all the necessary skills to play in the side in attack. Good quality and speed too,” the boss told the assembled media on Thursday, as per quotes by Leeds Live.
“The games with the Under 23s are always a reference for him. In a previous press conference, I was talking about three levels of importance: Championship, games, in training and Under 23s.
“For the players not involved with us, who have no minutes in the Championship, I am very focused on them in training and with the Under 23s.”
Clearly, then, if Stevens wants his first-team shot, training is where he will earn it, as he has already excelled in the youth fixtures he’s played.