Leeds United are gearing up for the upcoming campaign with an array of new signings, but at the same time, they have failed to keep hold of their academy prodigy Mallik Wilks who joined Barnsley for an undisclosed fee. The 20-year-old attacker enjoyed a blistering loan stint with Doncaster Rovers last season yet failed to earn Marcelo Bielsa’s trust ahead of the upcoming term.
Wilks bid an emotional farewell to the supporters prior to his move to Oakwell after spending six years in West Yorkshire.
“I felt I deserved a chance to prove myself after last season but that’s football for you. On a positive note would like to wish all the fans and the club all the best in the future.”
Stated the youngster as he is now determined to prove his worth at the Championship level with the newly promoted Tykes. Ex-Donny boss Grant McCann, now in charge of Hull City, was keen on a reunion with Wilks. However, the South Yorkshire side have succeeded in fending off the Tigers and roped him in even though the player extended his Leeds contract until 2022 back in January.
What Leeds United Will Miss Following Wilks’ Exit
The Englishman was rated highly while making strides through the Whites’ youth ranks and earned his senior debut back in January 2017 in an FA Cup tie against Sutton United. But he found opportunities hard to come by and spent his time on loan with Accrington Stanley and Grimsby Town before flourishing under McCann at Keepmoat.
Despite starting his career as a ‘number 9’, Wilks established himself down the wide areas by firing in 14 goals in 48 league outings. He laid on eight more and was instrumental in Doncaster’s playoff place finish defying the odds.
How He Could Have Been Utilized At Elland Road
Leeds have roped in Helder Costa from Wolves and re-signed Jack Harrison on yet another season-long loan deal from Manchester City. They are well equipped in the attacking third but might still struggle in the final months similar to the previous occasion. Injuries and fatigue squandered their chances of scripting a top-flight return and the iconic Argentine would have been benefitted from Wilks’ versatility, having proven his expertise in senior football.
He could have been utilised across the frontline and would have added much-needed depth that is required to stay relevant in the promotion battle while featuring twice a week during the decisive period.
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