A selection of Leeds United supporters have been sharing their regret and confusion in the West Yorkshire outfit selling Mallik Wilks to Barnsley in the summer, after the 20-year-old impressed many as the Whites beat the Tykes on Sunday.
Wilks joined Barnsley on a four-year contract in July (BBC) following a loan spell with Doncaster Rovers in 2018/19, which saw the Leeds-born winger named the League One side’s Player of the Season.
The forward had scored 16 goals and created a further 12 during his 55 appearances across all competitions last term (TransferMarkt), and currently has one goal to his name in the second-tier for Barnsley.
Wilks, a product of Leeds’ academy, could have stretched his Tykes tally on Sunday, though, as he enjoyed a flurry of chances against his former side while deployed as the sole striker in manager Daniel Stendel’s plans.
Only two of his four efforts on Kiko Casilla’s net were deemed to be on target by statistics company WhoScored, however, with his 43rd-minute effort drifting just wide of the far post after rolling Ben White on the edge of United’s box.
Casilla also denied Wilks in the 62nd minute by rushing off his line to parry the 20-year-old’s shot wide, after the Barnsley ace, signed for an alleged £990,000 (TransferMarkt), did well to battle past Kalvin Phillips after getting the better of Liam Cooper.
Wilks also boasted a 50% dribble success rate against his boyhood club, played one key ball from ten attempted passes and won one of eleven attempted aerial duels.
Here are a few reactions shared by Leeds supporters of Wilks’ first performance against his boyhood side, many of whom rue his departure…
Wilks 100x > Harrison
— Jon (@JTB1990LUFC) September 15, 2019
Why on earth did we get rid of Wilks?! Offers kids more than Harrison by the looks.
— LUFC (@LeedsUnited97) September 15, 2019
Can we smuggle Wilks back on the bus and leave them Bamford?? #lufc
— scott larsen (@scottlarsen_pi) September 15, 2019
There’s been multiple times Wilks has had cooper on toast
— Mark Ramm (@LufcRammy) September 15, 2019
It was a bad decision to let Wilks go imo. Been decent and in our team he would of had more space than Luke Skywalker #lufc
— Deano (@DeanoBF) September 15, 2019
— Through It All Together (@ThruItAllLUFC) September 15, 2019
Hardest away game we’ve had yet. Barnsley look a steady side and Wilks looks a handful at times.
— ALP (@adamlpi) September 15, 2019
Don’t understand why we sold Halme for £500k though, nor Wilks. Both looked good today and for that sort of money, not worth selling. You’d rather Aapo over Berardi #lufc
— M W (@mewebb1) September 15, 2019
Tough game, Eddie and Costa changed game, Wilks also dangerous, why we sold him? #lufc
— Finnish LUFC (@LS11_ER) September 15, 2019
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Wilks looking so much better than Bamford it has to be said :/
— BottleJob (@bottle_job) September 15, 2019