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Niall Huggins made his senior debut for Leeds United in a 4-2 loss to Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Whites were bad defensively in the first half and lost 3-0 at halftime.
After Mikel Arteta’s team went 4-0 up, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completing a hat-trick, Huggins was called up for his professional debut in the 53rd minute, replacing Gianni Alioski.
The young and versatile 20-year-old put on a solid performance that inspired Leeds to make a strong comeback with goals from Pascal Struijk and Helder Costa.
Bielsa said after the game, cited by Leeds Live:
“The absences of Kalvin, Koch, Llorente, Poveda, Moreno, we are prepared to resolve them. I insist that Pascal, Ayling and Shackleton handled these absences well.
“It is very difficult and unfair for a young player like Niall to enter the game in these circumstances where we are losing 4-0 and participate to try to get us back in the game. He had a balanced game. He did not shine, but he did nothing wrong either.
SL View – solid debut
Huggins is a highly skilled young talent who has appeared as an unused backup in games against Spurs, Everton and Crystal Palace before making his full debut against the Gunners at the Emirates.
He has always performed well for the Leeds Under-23 team this season, and the future looks very bright for him.
The full-back signed a contract at the club until 2023, and can expect to have more first-team appearances in the future with several key Leeds players missing with injuries.