Leeds United brought in a number of new players in an attempt to “replace” Chris Wood in the starting lineup. And while it appears that Pierre-Michel Lasogga will get the bulk of the minutes and has solidified himself as the starter at the striker position, the League Cup match against Burnely is a perfect opportunity for summer signing Jay-Roy Grot to get a start and see what he can do.
Landing Grot was somewhat of a transfer coup, as Serie A side Fiorentina had expressed interest in the big striker, but in the end Leeds was able to capture his signature. And while he’s come on a few times as a substitute for the Whites, it’s time to give him a chance to start the match to see what he’s able to do with a full 90 minutes or at least getting into the starting XI.
Grot has shown flashes of ability with the ball at his feet, and with his height and strength, he could be a very dangerous player for Leeds. In order to build him up and give him some confidence, Thomas Christiansen should give him more than just a few minutes at the end of a match. Grot appears to be more than just a “target man” as his ability to dribble and move with the ball at his feet shows. The style of play that Leeds uses under Christiansen rewards players that can take opposing players on, as the inter-play between Samuel Saiz and Gjanni Alioski has shown. Grot could really benefit from some time on the pitch to gain some understanding with some other players in the Leeds side.
Burnley had has a relatively good run of form in the Premier League so far, but they are vulnerable in Cup matches, as the loss at home last year to little Lincoln City in the FA Cup showed. While Leeds is miles away from Lincoln City, it wouldn’t be a huge upset to see Leeds win the match, so this is a great chance for Grot to get a game. Getting a few players into the rotation that haven’t played that much so far this season will be critical as injuries will start to pile up and will do wonders for team morale.
So please, give the big lad a chance, TC. We want to see what he can do. And if he runs over Charlie Taylor or knocks Wood on his, um, butt, at a set-piece, well, that’s just an added bonus.