'A young Radebe'; 'Alan Smith': 3 Leeds youngsters to watch in 2022
Leeds United boast a superb academy which has produced several top talents in recent years.
Kalvin Phillips is once of the best to come through the ranks, but there are quite a few more youngsters who could shine.
And Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has shown he’s keen to give talented academy players game time.
The likes of Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood have broken into the Elland Road senior team this year.
Here, The Boot Room looks at three more Thorp Arch gems who could shine in 2022.
Bate, who joined the Thorp Arch setup from Chelsea in the summer, has made waves at his new club.
The 19-year-old joined Leeds for a reported £1.5million and is now in and around the first team.
Bate has made 14 Premier League 2 appearances this term, plus two in the EFL Trophy.
He has often stood out thanks to his dominant midfield displays, quality on the ball and wand of a left foot.
Bate could potentially become Phillips’ deputy as a deep-lying No. 6.
And fans have been singing his praises, comparing him to the likes of Samu Saiz and Andres Iniesta.
Lewis bate is the sort of player the 1st team are missing at the minute a creative player who can play just off the front men he can’t be far away— ian burns (@ianpburns1) October 29, 2021
The way Lewis Bate cuts through a defensively set midfield reminds me of Saiz without the baggage. That’s no bad thing.#lufc— Mr P (@GaryPeck66) July 22, 2021
We should have added a buyback clause also for lewis bate, that guy’s naturally talented, seeing him play reminds me of iniesta— OmoAdetola (@Adetola69150045) September 7, 2021
Kenneh is an 18-year-old midfielder who can also play in central defence.
He signed his first professional contract with Leeds in January 2020, on his 17th birthday.
Kenneh has made 18 appearances for the Whites this season – 15 in Premier League 2 and two in the EFL Trophy.
He has also made the bench for Marcelo Bielsa’s side twice this term.
Kenneh has the technical defending skills of a centre-back and is also a superb passer passer of the ball.
In addition, he’s confident enough to get forward into the final third.
Fans are excited about Kenneh’s future at Elland Road, with one previously comparing him to Lucas Radebe.
Okay I’m gonna put a scud on him…Kenneh reminds me a little of a young Radebe.— Bielsa for Premier🏆 (@aclr1972) July 11, 2019
Really hope we get to see Nohan Kenneh today. He looks like a top player from what I’ve seen— Mark White (@markwhlte) December 18, 2021
Got the potential to go right to the top…the very top— Andy Baggott (@TheBagpuss) January 10, 2020
Dean has been making waves at Thorp Arch and is reportedly viewed as a player with a huge future.
The 17-year-old has three goals from nine Premier League 2 appearances this term, plus one in the EFL Trophy.
It takes a special kind of talent to be playing in the Under-23s at 17, and Dean clearly looks like a top talent.
Dean is also a very passionate player with a “fiery character”, and Mark Jackson sung his praises in September.
“You don’t have to prepare it with Deano,” Jackson told Leeds Live.
“Deano’s a fiery character, I don’t like to quash that in him. He’s got an edge to him and how he plays – and I like that in his personality.
“Yes he gets frustrated at times and we have to curtail it but his hunger to press and work hard and his hunger to score goals is really apparent.”
Dean has been compared by some fans to Alan Smith.
Max Dean reminds of Alan Smith for some reason. McKinstry showed he can dictate games & Drameh is just quality. Mullen Cresswell are quality players but they need more time.— Adam Ross (@rossi_on) January 12, 2021
Yeh he’s class actually. Saw him against Arsenal and liked his energy. Gets himself about and looks hungry. Plus a good touch and unlucky not to score a really good goal against Ars. Think he clattered the cross bar— YorkshireWolf (@leodis74) November 15, 2021
I’ve mentioned yesterday so much of alan Smith in max dean attitude and ability beyond his years well played @maxdean21400400— Andrew Thompstone (@forwarddefensiv) September 12, 2021