Rodrigo replacement: New Leeds boss could have the next big thing in “dangerous” 18y/o – opinion

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Leeds United fell to another disappointing defeat on Sunday, as they slipped even further behind in their race to avoid another relegation dogfight.

Despite boasting 70% of the ball and enjoying ten shots, they were undone by a lack of proficiency and a stunning Brennan Johnson volley to give Nottingham Forest all three points.

It now leaves the Whites sandwiched precariously between Everton and West Ham United, and saw Jesse Marsch become the latest managerial casualty.

Over the last few years, the Yorkshire outfit have suffered from numerous injury concerns, with Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper all having faced lengthy spells out last season. This culminated in a poor campaign in which they only secured survival on the final day.

It seems like those ailments could once again be set to rear their ugly head, as the club confirmed Rodrigo would be out two months as he recovers from an ankle injury.

This comes at the worst possible time, with the January window having slammed shut and the Spaniard in the form of his life. He already had 12 goals to his name and was comfortably the club’s top scorer.

His absence will be felt heavily, but it offers a vacancy now for someone to fill and make themselves a hero.

Whilst it would make sense to gravitate towards a player like Bamford or even Georginio Rutter to plug the gap, perhaps whoever takes the managerial helm at Leeds could look even lower down to bring in a youngster unburdened with the struggles of the season but tried and tested in English football.

With plenty of marksmen to choose from, Sonny Perkins is one of those outstanding candidates.

The 18-year-old made the switch to Elland Road in the summer, as he left West Ham with the promise of increased senior minutes.

He has since gone on to feature 11 times for the U21s, scoring an impressive seven goals. This form earned him a handful of first-team appearances too, one of which he capped with a goal against Cardiff City.

His new youth coach for the Yorkshire outfit, Michael Skubala, has been quick to praise him: “Sonny had a really good second half and looked dangerous,” he noted after a thumping victory back in September.

Having scored for fun in the Hammers’ youth ranks too, he could now be set to translate that blistering form into senior success now that Rodrigo is incapacitated indefinitely. He could be the next big thing that saves them and the new manager from the drop.


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