Five losses in their last seven games in all competitions tells a story, but four recent losses in the league is a story all of its own.
It is a drop in form that has seen Leeds’ healthy enough lead at the head of the table whittled away. That whittling has seen the drop from the top to be replaced by rivals Norwich on goal difference.
Marcelo Bielsa spoke yesterday about the drop in output , expectations and consistency from Leeds United at both ends of the field. Defensively, that consistency has dropped and uncharacteristic mistakes are being made.
Up top, Bielsa has said that the Whites are struggling and needing more chances in order to convert them to goals. In yesterday’s 3-1 loss at home to Norwich, Leeds had opportunities, they just didn’t convert.
The failure to land primary target Daniel James from Swansea also cost United ‘an option’ according to Bielsa in his after-match presser. However, one option is growing increasingly available for Leeds United.
That option? Izzy Brown.
Brown has been on a loan from parent club Chelsea, and was signed whilst in recuperation from a broken leg. Leeds knew this, signing him and becoming a vital part of his rehabilitation.
That rehabilitation has come to the fore now, his action in the Under-23s meaning that the Whites are now actually paying a wage contribution for him. It is that action for the Under 23s that does indicate he could be the option Leeds United are looking for to fill that #10 role in their formation.
Brown has shown that he can hack it at this level in previous loan spells for Rotherham United and Huddersfield Town. More pointed though, is that Brown appears to be at a level of fitness now where he offers Leeds an option.
He’s scoring with some regularity in the Under 23s at Elland Road, picking up 90 minute appearances along the way now. Leeds supporters are beginning to take more than glances in that direction, almost willing Bielsa to promote him upwards to the first-team.
That promotion to the first-team mustn’t be rushed, but then again cannot be delayed. There are only 16 games left in the current Sky Bet Championship campaign, 16 games that could either seal promotion, or see the Whites disappointingly drop out of the race.
Whether Izzy Brown’s contribution over those 16 games begins with a start against Middlesbrough or a sub’s bench appearances against Swansea, that is a decision for Marcelo Bielsa. However, it is a decision that needs to be made sooner rather than later if Leeds are going to see any degree of worth out of his loan at the club.