Leeds fans may have lost faith in Georginio Rutter to keep their side in the Premier League this season but Javi Gracia could possess the ideal replacement in Sonny Perkins.
Could Sonny Perkins keep Leeds in the Premier League?
After failing to score or assist in three starts and five substitute appearances at Elland Road, rumours are quickly beginning to swirl about Rutter’s morale.
The 20-year-old joined the Whites in a club-record £35.5m deal in January, joining on a five-and-a-half-year deal having starred in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim.
Despite his age and Hoffenheim’s struggles this season, the Frenchman had managed an impressive 11 goals and eight assists in 64 Bundesliga appearances, so it was easy to see why Leeds wanted to take a chance on his potential.
However, he is clearly struggling to adapt to the Premier League and reports have suggested that he is already regretting his move to Yorkshire, with Kicker claiming that he misses his former teammates and shed tears when he was told by his agent that he would be joining Leeds.
Although he was handed his first league start for the club in the 1-0 defeat against Chelsea last weekend, it is claimed that he isn’t happy with his game time at Elland Road.
Gracia needs players who are willing to fight and give everything for the shirt, and Rutter’s reported reaction suggests that he may not be up for a relegation battle.
In the absence of Rodrigo, the Spaniard has very few attacking options to choose from at Elland Road, especially as Patrick Bamford has just one goal in 17 Premier League appearances so far this term.
Leeds are not afraid to put their faith in youth, with Wilfried Gnonto, Sam Greenwood and Crysencio Summerville all featuring on a regular basis this season, which perhaps makes it more surprising that Perkins is yet to make his Premier League debut for the Whites.
The teenage forward, who joined from West Ham last summer, has nine goals in 17 appearances for the U21s and scored an important equaliser in the 2-2 draw against Cardiff City in the FA Cup in January.
His rampant form has drawn considerable praise, none more so than from Leeds U21 boss Michael Skubala, who noted after a brace against Aston Villa:
“Yeah he’s a goal machine, he loves scoring goals. He’s working on other parts of his game that he still needs to improve, but Sonny’s not had the best pre-season so he’s slowly becoming stronger and faster but two great finishes and that’s what Sonny’s all about.”
Leeds need goals if they are going to avoid dropping back to the Championship and if Rutter isn’t up to the task, surely Perkins should be given his opportunity to keep the club in the Premier League.