On-loan attacker Jean-Kevin Augustin is unlikely to walk straight into Leeds’ starting XI when the season resumes, a report from Football Insider has claimed.
Augustin joined Leeds from Leipzig on a temporary basis until the end of the season back in the January transfer window, having spent the first half of the campaign on loan with Monaco.
Since then, the striker has made just three substitute appearances for the Whites, struggling to get up to a fitness level required to really play a part following his arrival at Elland Road.
However, while Augustin has apparently now overcome those fitness problems, it seems that does not necessarily mean he is set for an immediate starting place in the side once the season gets back underway.
According to the latest reports, Bielsa has still to be fully convinced about whether or not Augustin deserves a starting place in the side when the campaign resumes.
As a result, it is thought that Bielsa will – as he has done for the majority of the season so far – stick with Patrick Bamford as his first-choice striker, with Augustin as backup to begin with.
Bamford himself has top-scored for Leeds this season, netting 13 goals in 36 league appearances for the Whites, who currently sit top of the Championship table, seven points clear of Fulham in the race for automatic promotion, with nine games of the regular season still to be played when football returns.
It has previously been reported that Leeds have the option to make Augustin’s move to Elland Road permanent for a fee of around £18million in the summer, although it seems the 22-year-old still has plenty to do to convince Leeds to pay that amount for him.
Given Bielsa’s notorious loyalty to his starting players and reluctant to rotate his side, his hesitancy around starting Augustin when the action gets back underway is perhaps no big surprise.
But with 20 goals and eight assists in 67 appearances in all competitions for Leipzig, it does seem as though Augustin has the ability required to step up for Leeds should he be called upon to do so.