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Leeds United must resist temptation to recall 19-year-old talent in January

Leeds United

Leeds United must resist temptation to recall 19-year-old talent in January

Leeds United have plenty of talented youngsters in their ranks. But not all of them were likely to receive first-team football this season and, consequently, were sent out on loan. One such player was forward Mallik Wilks.

The 19-year-old was sent to Doncaster Rovers on loan until the start of January. His form has been sensational for the Yorkshire side, who are currently sixth in League One.

Leeds United’s English midfielder Mallik Wilks chases the ball during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Sutton United and Leeds United at the Borough Sports Ground in London on January 29, 2017. / AFP / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The teenager scored against Gillingham in a 3-3 draw at the weekend, his fifth goal of the season in 16 games. Add his three assists and Wilks is clearly a talented young attacker.

He has also been playing out of position. Donny boss Grant McCann sees him as a winger in a 4-3-3. Wilks is, however, more of a central striker and will hope that is his role going forward. Leeds United certainly have a decision to make come January.

“He was outstanding, hard to play against, strong, quick. There were a couple of bits he needs to learn… but eventually he’ll get better at these things as he comes along. I was pleased for Mallik [and John] to get on the scoresheet today.”


– Grant McCann on Wilks performances 

It certainly appears as though Doncaster will want to extend his current loan spell. Based on his form and the recent comments from his manager, that would be a fair assumption.

But Leeds must be impressed with the reports they are receiving about his form. Leeds do however have plenty of options in attack. With Kemar Roofe and Tyler Roberts currently available, Patrick Bamford and Izzy Brown’s injury returns in January make Wilks an unnecessary option.

The best move would be to allow him the rest of the season out on loan, perhaps at the Keepmoat, to see if he can thrive over an entire campaign.

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