Leeds United are currently scrapping for their lives at the foot of the Premier League table, with the Yorkshire side now just a point above the drop zone following the 1-1 draw with fellow relegation strugglers, Leicester City in midweek.
While there will no doubt have been frustration among those at Elland Road at having conceded late on against the Foxes, the major cause of concern following that stalemate was the injury to summer signing Luis Sinisterra, with the Colombian international having been forced off just minutes after giving the home side the lead on the night.
The Whites’ worst fears have since been realised with the former Feyenoord man having been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with an ankle injury, ensuring he now joins midfield maestro Tyler Adams on the treatment table.
In the case of Sinisterra, this recent blow comes amid what has been an injury-hit debut campaign in Yorkshire for the £21m addition, albeit with the winger having shown flashes of his quality when he has been fit and firing, with seven goals in just 22 games in all competitions this season.
The seven-cap menace had appeared to be a player who could well help to drag Javi Gracia‘s side to safety having scored three goals in his last five top-flight games, although the survival hopefuls may now need to find another source of attacking inspiration.
Who can replace Sinisterra for Leeds?
The obvious candidate to replace the stricken 23-year-old in the side would be Italian dynamo, Wilfried Gnonto, with the diminutive ace also having impressed during his first season at the club, registering five goal involvements in 19 league games in all competitions this term.
The Italy international may not be the only young prospect who could also provide Gracia and co with further firepower, however, with teenager Sonny Perkins among the academy options who are likely to be pushing for a more prominent role at first-team level.
The exciting 19-year-old – who signed from West Ham United back in July – has thus far been restricted to just three senior outings for his current side since making that summer switch from the London Stadium, albeit while netting late on the FA Cup clash with Cardiff City earlier this year.
That ability to make an impact in the final third was an example of why the versatile forward – who can feature on the flanks or in a centre-forward berth – has been hailed as a “goal machine” by U21’s boss, Michael Skubala.
Such glowing praise has undoubtedly been warranted with the London-born ace having bagged 11 goals in just 20 appearances for the club’s U21 side this season, after previously providing 12 goals in 23 games at the same age group for the Hammers.
The England U19 youth international will likely have caught the attention of Gracia even further having been on fire in recent weeks, having provided seven goal involvements in his last five Premier League 2 games.
That stellar record is a clear illustration of the undoubted diamond that Leeds have on their hands, with young Perkins potentially set to be the man to help lift the mood at the club, amid this current run of four league games without a win.
Even if the £1.6k-per-week ace is not thrust in from the start over the coming games, he could well help to fill the attacking void left behind by Sinisterra by offering a game-changing option from the bench.