BBC Radio Leeds pundit Noel Whelan has expressed his expectations to see Marcelo Bielsa hand Robbie Gotts his Leeds United senior debut, after the teenager shone in the Whites’ latest Under 23s fixture, as told to Football Insider.
Gotts is yet to make his first-team bow for the Elland Road natives, but has spent time with the senior fold having earned promotions through the youth ranks in West Yorkshire in recent years to become a key player in Carlos Corberan’s plans.
His efforts in the Professional Development League last season saw the 19-year-old awarded with a new three-and-a-half-year deal in February that ties the Harrogate-born teen to Leeds until the summer of 2022, with Gotts putting pen to paper after a string of appearances on the first-team bench (TransferMarkt).
Gotts has been named on Bielsa’s bench three times in the league this season, and was included in the matchday squad for both of Leeds’ Carabao Cup ties in August.
Whelan now expects the versatile youngster to be edging toward his first taste of senior football, although he concedes the competition for places could ensure his wait is prolonged.
“Gotts, he’s the next one,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He is in and around the first team, and knocking on the door. He is going to get game time as he is making a strong case.
“He’s a real talent and has the ‘wow’ factor. He can play centre-midfield or in the number 10 role. He is fantastic on the ball, very composed and has a great range of passing.
“He’s going to have to bide his time as there is real competition for places at Leeds, but I can see him reaching the top.”
Whelan’s comments come after Gotts shone for Corberan in the Professional Development League on Monday night with what Leeds Live described as a ‘complete performance’ and rated his efforts nine out of ten.
They described the youngster’s display against Watford as being the driving force of the Whites’ efforts from the number eight role, as he buzzed around the field to break up and create play.
Gotts was not afraid to shoot or stick a tackle in, either, and was rewarded for his efforts with a goal after half-time after floating a cross into the box for Eddie Nketiah to volley home his second of the game prior to the break.
If Gotts can maintain this momentum, it should not be long before he is asked to leave his seat in the dugout and lace up his boots to tackle Championship opposition, but his performances in the second-tier would have to be breath-taking to become a starting option given the competition for places Bielsa currently has to contend with.
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