Ahead of Sunday’s game against Millwall, Leeds manager, Daniel Farke, has a decision to make over a player that he apparently admires but who hasn’t played a single minute for the club this season.
After Saturday’s results, the all whites now find themselves down in 17th position in the Championship, with the south London outfit in 15th.
It’s unlikely that Farke and Leeds’ new owners, 49ers Enterprises, would have countenanced the club being so low down in the table at this stage, however, the upheaval across the summer has to have played a part in the German not being able to pick a settled side until recently.
Already 10 points behind leaders Preston North End, Leeds can ill afford to fall further behind, and to that end, there’s a possibility that he could introduce Ilia Gruev into the fold.
“Farke is a big fan of Ilia Gruev and really, really wanted to bring him in. He does have a decision now to make about who has the favour predominantly in this group of four,” club insider, Phil Hay, said on the Square Ball Podcast.
“It seems to me Ampadu could play from start to finish, he has looked really good. He seems to fall in that category of player who hasn’t proven himself in the Premier League yet but looks comfortably good enough, if not better than Championship level.”
Farke hasn’t been able to give Gruev his chance so far in the 2023/24 campaign apparently because of visa issues.
Now resolved, the German has to decide whether to bring the Bulgarian in at the expense of either Ampadu, Archie Gray or Glen Kamara.
Though Gruev’s inclusion can’t be considered a risk at this early stage of the season, there is still a potential issue of upsetting dressing room equilibrium.
That said, Farke has the perfect excuse for utilising his services given Leeds’ stuttering start with just one win from five games.