Leeds striker crisis the catalyst for their troubles

Graeme Bailey
Jesse has had a tough task at Leeds
Jesse has had a tough task at Leeds / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Leeds United are clinging onto their Premier League life after an injury time equaliser from makeshift striker Pascal Struijk.

The centre-half was thrown on as a stand-in forward because Leeds have simply have no other options in attack - having started the game with 20-year-old Joe Geldhardt up top.

Just before the end of the game and before the equaliser arrived, Leeds fans had been chanting the name Marcelo Bielsa...despite the main reason for the lack of forward options at the club being the former manager.

Bielsa knew the issues with the squad heading into the January transfer window, and was well aware of the dire need for some offensive for Patrick Bamford; who has been injured for the majority of the season.

The ex-Leeds manager wanted the ‘right’ striker to compete with Bamford and, while that is admirable, the decision to not get anyone at all has come back to haunt the club in the ensuing months.

With Bamford sidelined Marsch has been left with the almost impossible task of finding someone who can lead the line. He threw in Geldhardt on Sunday, but it was a lot to ask from a youngster who hadn't started a single league game at Elland Road in 2022.

Having to rely on a late Struijk goal just tells you all you need to know about the lack of quality depth in the squad and sheer size of the task Marsch was left with to find some goals from somewhere within it.

"We need to find ways to be more clinical – we need to find more goals," admitted Marsch after the draw with Brighton

It's difficult to blame Marsch for Leeds’ plight in front of goal when it Bielsa was the man who was at the helm when there was an opportunity to sign some much-needed depth. When Bielsa left, Leeds were already heading closer and closer to the relegation That is the issue that Marsch has not been able to solve without the opportunity to bring in some new players.

Despite this, Marsch has somehow given Leeds a glimmer of hope of staying up next weekend. It will be rather miraculous if he manages to pull off a great escape with the squad he has.