It has been a roller-coaster of a year to be a Leeds United supporter, hasn’t it?
After looking almost certain to secure promotion to the Premier League at Christmas, a dramatic drop-off in form resulted in the Whites having to settle for a place in the play-offs.
With Derby County standing between Marcelo Bielsa’s side and their first trip to Wembley Stadium since 2008, they knew that they had to be on top form to secure a showdown with Aston Villa on May 27th.
Yet despite winning the first leg of their semi-final 1-0, Leeds were eliminated from the competition after suffering a gut-wrenching 4-2 defeat to the Rams in the return fixture last week.
Now facing the prospect of yet another year in the Championship, the Whites will need to stay positive over the summer if they are to bounce back next season.
Although Bielsa will be wanting to bolster his squad by bringing in a number of additions during the transfer window, it could be argued that he already has a ready-made replacement at Elland Road for Manchester City loanee Jack Harrison.
Having enjoyed an incredible season at Doncaster Rovers in which he scored 16 goals in all competitions for Grant McCann’s side, it is clear that Mallik Wilks has all the ingredients needed to thrive in the second tier.
With fellow Thorp Arch academy graduates Jack Clarke and Jamie Shackleton benefiting massively from being given the chance to prove themselves during the 2018/19 campaign, there is no reason why the winger shouldn’t be included in Bielsa’s first-team plans.
A supremely talented player who can operate on either side of the pitch, Wilks could be worth taking a risk on as if he can replicate the same level of performance that saw him cause havoc in League One, he could emerge as a key player for Leeds over the coming years.
Whereas spending big money on a winger this summer may not guarantee instant results for the Whites, by continuing to bring through their homegrown talent, the Yorkshire-based outfit will be setting a precedent that has led to great success for the likes of Ajax and Benfica in recent years.
Leeds fans, how excited are you about this prospect? If not, why not? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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