Leeds forced to name 15-year-old on bench vs Arsenal amid injury woes

Leeds name 15-YEAR-OLD Archie Gray on the bench against Arsenal amid injury crisis which left Marcelo Bielsa without ELEVEN senior players… and Jack Harrison goes off injured in dismal first half!

  • Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has seen his squad decimated by injury of late
  • The Whites have a total of 11 first-team stars currently nursing fitness problems 
  • Bielsa therefore named Archie Gray, 15, on his bench to face Arsenal on Saturday
  • Jack Harrison also hobbled off after 30 minutes to make matters worse 

Marcelo Bielsa was forced to name 15-year-old Archie Gray on Leeds’ bench to face Arsenal with 11 of his senior stars out injured.

The Whites have been rocked by an injury crisis in the midst of their packed December schedule, with nine first-team regulars currently unavailable.

Bielsa has also hinted that Diego Llorente is battling Covid-19 after confirming the defender will be out of action for the next 10 days.

Marcelo Bielsa was forced to name 15-year-old Archie Gray on Leeds’ bench to face Arsenal

Bielsa is dealing with an injury crisis at Elland Road which has left him without 11 senior players

Striker Patrick Bamford (second from right) is among those unavailable to Leeds right now

And as a result of his depleted squad, the Leeds boss was left with no choice but to name Gray amongst the substitutes for their Premier League showdown with Arsenal.

The academy starlet, who is merely 15 years and 282 days old, was given the nod to make the bench at Elland Road on Saturday night.

If Bielsa chooses to bring him off the bench against the Gunners, Gray would smash the record for the Premier League’s youngest ever player, which was set by Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott at 16 years and 30 days old.

Gray will become the youngest Premier League player ever if he makes it off the bench

The England Under-16 midfielder, who travelled with Bielsa’s side to Tottenham last month, would also become the youngest player in Leeds’ history if he makes it off the bench.

Nevertheless, Gray’s inclusion on the bench for Saturday’s meeting with Arsenal speaks volumes about the injury woes Bielsa is dealing with right now.

And to make matters worse, Jack Harrison hobbled off on the half-hour mark at Elland Road after appearing to sustain an injury.

Former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford said on Sky Sports: ‘It’s been an absolute nightmare. I counted 11 players out injured. 

‘With that being taken into account, it’s been a difficult couple of weeks for Marcelo Bielsa.’

Before Saturday’s game, Bielsa said: ‘To win is always important, after two defeats even more, and after a defeat like the last one, even more so.

‘Until yesterday we were more or less organised, but then in the penultimate training session (Charlie) Cresswell suffered an injury. 

‘From today Llorente will be absent for the next ten days at least, so more than the absences, but in the defensive zone there are seven players that are absent, and that forces up to quicken the return of (Robin) Koch.’ 

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