Leeds United earned a 1-0 win over Hearts in a pre-season friendly today but the big news is a double-whammy of injury setbacks suffered by the Yorkshire club during the game.
Georginio Rutter signed for Leeds United last January for a club-record fee of £36 million which seemed excessive for such an unproven player who had scored 12 goals in 69 professional appearances for Rennes and Hoffenheim until that point.
After half a season at Elland Road, the France U21 international failed to score a single goal as more and more eyebrows were being raised over the reason for taking such an expensive gamble on the player.
Leeds United were ultimately relegated to the Championship last term but hope was growing among the fanbase that the 21-year-old would excel under new boss Daniel Farke in the second tier.
However, according to journalist Graham Smyth, Rutter lasted merely 26 minutes of today’s friendly against Scottish side Hearts before being taken off with an injury.
Not just Rutter…
The attacking woes did not stop at Rutter for Leeds United. Smyth also tweeted during the game that star striker Patrick Bamford appeared to go down holding his hamstring:
“Looked to me like Bamford possibly reached for his hamstring as he went down there.
“Will be one to check with Farke. Both nines going off injured a week before the season is horrific.”
For the Yorkshire Evening Post, Smyth questioned Farke on the nature of the players’ injuries:
“[Rutter has] a muscle injury in his core. After movement, we hope it’s not too bad, we have to wait for the assessment, it’s too early to say something. But anyhow, a core muscle I think.
“It seems to be like a hamstring injury [for Bamford]. It’s more or less the same. We have to wait for the assessment. Something happened after the sprint and we have to wait for the assessment.”
A win over Hearts was a nice way to round off pre-season preparations. However, no victory in a friendly can mask how short Farke’s squad is in the attacking department with the season just a few days away from commencing.
Bamford, in particular, is a devastating loss. The former MK Dons loanee has spent the guts of two years with recurring injury issues and that is seemingly not set to stop.
Mateo Joseph may be the only number ‘9’ fit for Leeds’ first league outing of the campaign which could force the hand of the hierarchy to make some last-minute signings.