Leeds United are yet again facing a defensive crisis with all three senior centre-backs sidelined with an injury for Friday night’s clash against Aston Villa.
Pontus Jansson, Liam Cooper and Matthew Pennington are all out while there are also issues at full-back with Laurens De Bock, Luke Ayling and Gaetano Berardi also unavailable due to injuries and suspension.
That has left Paul Heckingbottom with a major selection headache with just a handful of games to play this season, however now is definitely the perfect time to see what some of the younger Elland Road stars are made of.
Liam Kitching is currently on loan at Harrogate in the National League North and Heckingbottom has dropped a major hint that he has toyed with the idea of recalled him early to help solve his defensive woes.
That would be a smart idea – however Kitching, 18, is currently suspended for one more game after being handed a three-game ban but will serve the last game of it against Southport on Saturday.
The teenager has been playing at both centre and left-back for Harrogate and that is definitely something that Heckingbottom needs in his squad for the closing stages of the campaign.
Kitching has even been among the goals in the National League North, scoring three times in 10 appearances.
The Whites must terminate his loan deal first thing on Sunday morning to ensure that Heckingbottom has as many young options to choose from as possible going into the last few weeks of the regular season.
Leeds fans have always cherished their youth academy and with nothing left to play for now, this is the time for the stars of tomorrow to make a mark.
In other Leeds United news, fans have been blown away by who has been named as favourite to replace Heckingbottom.