Kalvin Phillips has told LUTV that he was impressed by Barnsley winger Mallik Wilks following Sunday’s 2-0 win at Oakwell, in which Wilks and a number of other Barnsley players faced Leeds for the first time after leaving Elland Road.
Barnsley boast a number of ex-Leeds players, including Aapo Halme, Wilks, Alex Mowatt and Clarke Odour. Halme, Mowatt and Wilks all started, while Odour remained on the bench as Leeds returned to the top of the table with a win.
Wilks, 20, starred on loan at Doncaster Rovers in League One last season, scoring 16 goals and laying on 12 assists. It saw Barnsley take a chance on the Leeds academy product, who managed just one senior Whites appearance.
Phillips spoke highly of Wilks after the final whistle after playing alongside the attacker in the academy and in the senior side, stating that he was impressed by the strength, speed and movement in a match where Kiko Casilla made a number of saves.
“I thought Mallik Wilks was very strong, he’s got lots of pace and a lot of good movement and it put us on the back foot at times to be fair,” Phillips said. “But the lads did well defensively.”
TBR’s view – Were Leeds right to offload Wilks to Barnsley?
Last season’s form was impressive, and certainly should have at least convinced Leeds that they had a young player with enormous potential on their hands. But the Whites do boast enormous competition out wide.
That competition is keeping Helder Costa on the bench, with both Jack Harrison and Pablo Hernandez both starting. Jack Clarke can hardly get a game, while Gjanni Alioski and Stuart Dallas have changed position in order to get a chance.
Though Wilks has plenty of promise, his career would have stuttered had he remained at Elland Road.