Alfie McCalmont was handed his first ever start for Leeds United’s first-team on Tuesday night against Stoke City and it certainly could have gone smoother.
The 19-year-old made his senior debut for the Whites in first round of the Carabao Cup against Salford City, as he featured off the bench against the League Two side.
Manager Marcelo Bielsa opted to throw him into the starting XI against Championship opposition Stoke in the second round of the cup competition.
The teenage midfielder lasted just 45 minutes before he was substituted off, as Bielsa reacted with a triple substitution to being 2-0 down at half-time.
Leeds went on to draw 2-2 inside the 90 minutes at Elland Road and eventually bowed out of the competition on penalties.
It was a tough opening 45 minutes for the Yorkshire giants and certainly a steep learning curve for a number of the inexperienced individuals in the team.
McCalmont is a highly-rated talent to come out of the academy and is slowly being integrated into the first-team, which at his age shows his potential.
He partnered 18-year-old Mateusz Bogusz in the midfield during the first-half and the inexperienced pair struggled to get to grips with Stoke.
McCalmont has now seen the step up in class to Championship level, but a tough evening will have helped his development massively and he will have plenty of areas to now work on.
The central midfielder picked up a booking for a cynical foul and found it difficult.
Bielsa has shown a willingness to promote youth at Elland Road, so it would be no surprise to see McCalmont come back stronger from a very minor setback against Stoke.