Leeds United are making a momentous drive towards the Premier League after a 15-year exile. Their Argentine boss, Marcelo Bielsa, who is known for his physically demanding style of management, has already dipped into the youth setup to fill the void left by injuries to key players – most recently gifting a run of games to young front man, Tyler Roberts.
Anticipating that these changes keep coming to the West Yorkshire club’s youth prospects, we’ve taken a look at some of the best talents who could make their way into a future top flight starting XI.
A look to the future
You’d expect Bailey Peacock-Farrell, 21, to keep his position in goal, whilst fan favourite and captain Liam Cooper will continue to anchor the defence alongside Pontus Jansson.
At 29-years of age, Barry Douglas will have long since passed his prime so the club will likely look towards Tom Pearce, 20, to bolster the left side to provide a similar attacking style of play. Luke Ayling has put in a number of quality performances during his time at the club, however there will come a time that he needs to be replaced and there’s no one more fitting than the dynamic Jamie Shackleton. At 18-years-old, Shackleton is yet another quality player Bielsa has turned to this season, demonstrating how strong the club’s youth system is.
Alioski, 26, could be an option, but given his inconsistency Bielsa may consider exciting talent Jack Clarke, 17, who scored in consecutive games during pre-season, to inject a bit of quality into the team. Mateusz Klich, 28, won’t be the youngest in five years time, but if his goal scoring form continues, and he remains an engine, there is no reason he can’t emulate players like James Milner.
Kalvin Phillips, 22, looks to be the real deal, sitting comfortably as the starting holding midfielder, the young Englishmen has set himself up to be an essential part to Leeds’ big push this season, performing a defensive role, with ball-playing tendencies to boot.
Jack Harrison, 21, is only on loan at Leeds, but is very evident that he possesses the ability to go all the way. It is becoming increasingly evident that he may not ply his trade at Premier League champions, Manchester City, so if Leeds can secure his services there’s a good chance it could be one of the club’s best signings in recent years.
Patrick Bamford cost Leeds big money in a move at the start of this season and, at 25, has still got years ahead of him. However, having failed to make an impact during his brief spells with clubs Chelsea, Burnley and Crystal Palace, Tyler Roberts, 19, who has started off this season well scoring three goals in seven games, might get the nod ahead of him. Ryan Edmonson, 17, is another player for the future. Having been introduced to fans at the back end of the 17/18 season, coming off the bench against QPR, the striker started this years campaign well, netting two goals against conference outfit Guiseley.
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