Leeds United youngster Sonny Perkins could soon make the leap from youth team hopeful to first-team regular, reliable journalist Graham Smyth has claimed.
The Lowdown: Perkins showing promise at Leeds
The 18-year-old is still waiting for his first senior appearance for the Whites and is yet to be seen in action by the Elland Road faithful, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t already catching the eye in and around the club.
Perkins has scored five goals in just four appearances for Leeds Under-21s since arriving from West Ham earlier this summer, not to mention shining at England youth team level, netting twice in six caps for their Under-18s.
Young players have often been given the chance to make the grade at Elland Road, from Pascal Struijk to Joe Gelhardt, and the hope is that Parkins will head in a similar direction.
The Latest: Perkins and Joseph the future?
Speaking in a Q&A for The Yorkshire Evening Post, Smyth was asked by a supporter if any youngsters look likely to follow the Gelhardt route into the senior side.
He backed Perkins to make the jump to first-team level like fellow youngster Mateo Joseph has recently:
“Mateo Joseph, pictured in training with the first team this week, is an obvious answer because of the goals he has scored, how sharp he has looked and where he plays. Leeds are, thanks to that crazy final 24 hours of the transfer window, light in attack and so Marsch will be keeping an especially close eye on his Under 21 goalscorers.
“Whether or not he’s physically capable of withstanding the pressure and intensity top flight defenders bring to duels remains to be seen.
“Sonny Perkins is another who falls into that category. You can see why Craig Dean was so keen to get the ex-West Ham United prospect through the door this summer. He’s impressively strong for his age and has scored in every game.”
The Verdict: One to watch
Perkins looks like an incredibly exciting prospect for Leeds and someone who genuinely could end up being a star, should his current career trajectory continue.
He was once described as the ‘next Declan Rice’ during his time with the Hammers in terms of his potential to break into senior football and become a star rather than any positional comparison, and his form in the youth set-up suggests as much.
Perkins may have to bide his time to get regular opportunities under Jesse Marsch but domestic cup competitions could be a chance to hand him his debut while any more injuries in the forward ranks may even prompt some chances in top flight action.
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