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Leeds United should give Bailey Peacock-Farrell his chance v Wolves

The 21-year-old goalkeeper is set to be on the bench for the Wolves tie this evening.

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Leeds United take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Championship this evening, with the two clubs experiencing different fortunes. Wolves are top of the league and, despite a recent wobble, look like heading to promotion. Leeds on the other hand look set to remain in the Championship. After starting the season with such hope a poor run of form sees Leeds destined to second-tier football yet again.

The recent 3-0 loss to Middlesbrough essentially put the nail in Leeds’ promotion coffin. So tonight, when facing Wolves, perhaps Leeds should start blooding some young talent?

One Leeds player who deserves a chance is goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

The Northern Irish youngster has been loitering around the Leeds first-team for some time now. But still the 21-year-old has only the one Leeds United first-team appearance to his name.

Leeds have not had the best fortune with goalkeepers this season. Summer signing Felix Wiedwald is simply too inconsistent for the Championship. Andy Lonergan, his veteran back-up, has not impressed when given his chance. Lonergan is also ill for tonight’s game, meaning Peacock-Farrell is set for the Leeds bench.

CARDIFF, WALES – SEPTEMBER 26: Leeds goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald reacts during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Leeds United at Cardiff City Stadium on September 26, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

It’s not clear how Leeds view their young stopper. In January, a trial at Landskrona in Sweden was given the thumbs up. Peacock-Farrell returned to Leeds after a three-day stint with the club.

When Peacock-Farrell first made his breakthrough into the Leeds first-team picture he looked destined to be a future starter. When a new deal was signed by the keeper in 2016 it came amid interest from Premier League sides Tottenham and Evertonas reported by talkSPORT.

Since then a broken hand stifled his development and many a Leeds fan is unsure Peacock-Farrell has what it takes to be a top goalkeeper.

NEWPORT, WALES – JANUARY 07: Leeds goalkeeper Andy Lonergan reacts during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Newport County and Leeds United at Rodney Parade on January 7, 2018 in Newport, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Tonight is the perfect opportunity to give the youngster a chance. Leeds’ promotion hopes are a long shot at best. With Lonergan out and Wiedwald again low on confidence why not give the young stopper a chance to show what he can do.

If not now? Then when? At 21-years-old this is Peacock-Farrell’s time to make a name for himself.

If Leeds do not give him a chance during their current circumstances, it is hard to see a long-term future for the keeper at Elland Road.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa will be rewarded for their patience by holding onto young defender

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Photo: Getty Images.

Signed in January on loan from Manchester United, it’s fair to say that Axel Tuanzebe has not quite lived up to expectations at Villa Park with only five league appearances since moving to Birmingham.

The full-back has completed 90 minutes only once since his loan signing and is yet to impress Steve Bruce sufficiently to earn a regular spot in the side, having made back to back starts only once.

Despite that, The Sun say that it is likely that regardless of whether the Villans are promoted or not in the summer, Tuanzebe will remain on loan at Aston Villa next season.

The reports suggest that he will join Manchester United for their pre-season tour of the US for Jose Mourinho to re-evaluate the defender, who he gave a Premier League debut to in May 2017, before opting to send him out on loan.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

That a host of top flight and second tier clubs are still interested despite him not convincing for Villa says a lot about Tuanzebe’s potential. Steve Bruce is a good judge of player potential too, and if he is keen to retain his services then it is for a reason.

Strong in the tackle yet quick, Tuanzebe did not look out of place among the elite when he made his United debut against Arsenal and has not many any clear errors whilst on loan at Villa either.

By sticking with their man, Villa will reap the rewards in the long-term. At Championship level with a full pre-season and regular football behind him, Tuanzebe could easily stake his claim and begin to fulfill his potential.

If Villa are promoted, it’s hard to see how Tuanzebe will become first choice, but he will come cheap and is certainly an interesting option to have amongst the ranks.

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Derby County

Thriving in America, ex-Derby star Johnny Russell deserves a Scotland recall

The forward has been in fine form since his move to MLS.

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Johnny Russell
Photo: Getty Images

Johnny Russell has been setting Major League Soccer on fire this spring, most recently bagging a hat-trick against Vancouver Whitecaps on the weekend to take his goal tally to five in eight matches.

Russell controversially left Derby County for Sporting Kansas City in January, but his impressive form in America should convince Alex McLeish to recall the 28-year-old to the Scotland set-up.

After 182 appearances and 30 goals over five years at Pride Park, the winger departed England for a shock move to Sporting Kansas City in MLS.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The winger had scored five goals and provided two assists in the first half of the 2017/18, yet left the Rams just 12 days after playing 90 minutes in their 0-0 draw with Bristol City in late January.

Yet the Scot has been thriving across the Atlantic and showed his devastating finishing qualities during Kansas City’s 6-0 demolition of Vancouver on 20 April.

Russell’s first goal was a lashed first-time finish from the edge of the box after receiving an intelligent cutback, and just six minutes later he had doubled his goal haul.

The winger cut in with precision from the left wing and drove past multiple defenders before slotting home a low drive at the near post. It was a wonderful individual goal that was a fine reward for his rampant opening quarter of the match.

(Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

And his third goal was perhaps the pick of the bunch. Russell took a short corner from the right wing, exchanged a one-two and delicately chipped the ball from a tight angle over the keeper.

The 28-year-old’s sublime hat-trick is evidence of his unique talents, and although his exploits have come in a weakened league, they are deserving of praise nonetheless.

With upcoming away friendlies approaching in Peru and Mexico in late May, McLeish should strongly consider granting Russell his first cap since 2015.

Given the geographic proximity and the winger’s outstanding form, Johnny Russell seems set to feature for his country in the midst of his American revival.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves must not let success stunt the progress of Morgan Gibbs-White

The England youth international has a bright future ahead of him in the game.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers will be playing Premier League football again next season. Nuno Espirito Santo has led the club to the Championship summit and top-flight football now awaits.

It is certainly what they deserve after a brilliant campaign. Wolves have been by far the most consistent team in the second-tier and whilst the likes of Cardiff City, Fulham and Aston Villa have tried, none have managed to keep up.

Of course, much of their success has been down to the investment from the Fosun Group. Together with a partnership with Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes, Wolves have brought in some excellent talent at Championship level.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The likes of Ruben Neves, Diego Jota and Willy Boly are all Premier League standard and Wolves have relished in their presence.

But this should be a concern for one 18-year-old talent. Morgan Gibbs-White is one of England’s brightest talents. The midfielder has been tipped for greatness at Wolves and has shown his ability with the England youth set-up. Last summer, he played a key role as England’s under-17s won the World Cup in India.

The performances of Gibbs-White had tongues wagging in the summer and he has been involved for Wolves this season. Gibbs-White has played 13 times for Wolves and looks a real talent for the future.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

But this summer the Fosun Group and Mendes will be looking to bring some more talent to Molineux ahead of an assault on the Premier League. Rightly so. If Wolves are to stay in the top-flight, investment will be necessary.

However, in the form of Gibbs-White, the club already have a player who looks capable of playing at this level. The teenager is a top talent who should not simply be pushed aside by Wolves as they seek to assemble a side full of foreign talent.

Wolves are ambitious and wealthy so new faces are bound to arrive. But the club must make sure there is a space for a young talent like Gibbs-White to thrive in the future.

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