By Alex Stevens
Marcus Antonsson cannot get on the Leeds bench because he is not suited to the team’s lone-striker system, according to a report.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claim there is little doubt that the Swedish striker is more effective as one member of a two-pronged attack.
It is said that there is also a sense that manager Garry Monk does not believe Antonsson is able to thrive in the second tier of English football.
The 25-year-old began his first season in England in the team but has not started a Championship match since September and has not even had any league action as a substitute since a late appearance in the 3-0 win against Rotherham on 2 January.
Such is Monk’s lack of faith in Antonsson that he has not even made the substitute’s bench for seven of Leeds’ last eight matches even though he is fully fit and available for selection.
“There is no doubt that Antonsson is most suited to a front two, a system Monk gave up on after seven games of the season, but you wonder if Monk is still not sold on him in the Championship,” the report reads.
“Even in games at Barnsley and Blackburn, where United needed late goals, the club’s head coach was not inclined to turn to him.”
Antonsson’s situation has come under the microscope after main striker Chris Wood sustained an injury on international duty in a World Cup qualifier between New Zealand and Fiji.
The Yorkshire Evening Post name Antonsson as one of three possible contingency plans to replace Wood, along with fellow front man Souleymane Doukara and attacking midfielder Kemar Roofe.
In total, Antonsson has made 21 appearances in all competitions for the Yorkshire giants this season but has scored just three goals, two of which came in the League Cup.
He has has struggled for game time due to the excellent form of main striker Chris Wood, who has scored 27 goals in all competitions this season and is the Championship leading scorer with 24.
The re-emergence of versatile forward Souleymane Doukara and the deadline day signings of Alfonso Pedraza and Modou Barrow have pushed Antonsson further down the Elland Road pecking order.
In other Leeds transfer news, the Yorkshire giants are in shock talks to sign a Liverpool attacking player.