Sources: Bielsa & Leeds coaches fretting about senior player during lockdown
Leeds United coaches are concerned about the fitness levels of Jean-Kevin Augustin dramatically plummeting during the postponement of football, Football Insider understands.
The striker, 22, has been sent home from Thorp Arch along with the rest of the senior squad after the training ground was shut on Tuesday following updated government coronavirus advice.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Marcelo Bielsa and his staff are anxious about the fitness levels dropping of the players ahead of the Championship resumption, which will not be before 30 April.
Chief among their concerns is Augustin, who joined at the end of January lacking match fitness and had just recovered from a hamstring injury incurred following extensive conditioning and fitness work in the previous weeks.
The Frenchman had already experienced acclimatisation issues getting used to a new country, new language and new culture.
Furthermore, the exacting and strict requirements of Bielsa have also proved a shock to the system for Augustin.
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Augustin made only three substitute appearances before the effects of the intensive training manifested in the muscle injury, not uncommon for professionals experiencing a new level of training.
His recovery from that had given confidence to the coaches he could have a major role to play, initially as a substitute, in the final nine games of the Championship campaign.
But he will not have to bring his fitness in line with the mainstays of the team without the Thorp Arch facilities and the physical guidance of Bielsa’s fitness and backroom staff.
That could prove a bigger challenge for the Frenchman than most of his teammates, who already have a high base level of fitness.
Augustin joined Leeds in the final week of the January window from RB Leipzig on an initial loan after his season-long loan to Monaco was cancelled at the halfway point.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a £15million deal agreed is to be spread across four payments.