Leeds United’s search for goals ahead of the new Championship campaign has led the club to turn to our youth ranks, as Football Insider understand Marcelo Bielsa will give Mallik Wilks a chance to prove his worth in pre-season.
The boss allegedly wants to cast his personal judgment over the Whites product now that the squad have returned to Thorp Arch for training, as the 20-year-old caught his eye while on loan with Doncaster Rovers in League One.
Bielsa will now give Wilks a greater role in his training drills and will offer him minutes in our upcoming friendlies to see if the Leeds-born attacker is ready for life in the Championship after a year in the third-tier.
Doncaster proved to be a great destination to send Wilks to for the 2018/19 term, as he eventually settled into life at the Keepmoat Stadium to perform consistently under Grant McCann.
The Rovers boss even deployed the former Accrington Stanley and Grimsby Town loanee in each of his forward three positions, with Wilks returning goals and assists across the front line of attack.
The left wing proved to be where 6ft Wilks was most prolific in front of goal; with eight successful strikes to his name in 22 games, while the right returned seven in 23 and the centre one in three. Assists, on the other hand, came more frequently on the right with eight, compared to three on the left, across his 55 appearances in all competitions for a total goal involvement of 28.
Rovers manager McCann lauded Wilks for his efforts on route to the Play-Off Semi-Finals, too, noting: “I think he’s got stronger. He’s got more belief in himself.
“He started the season well, but then we’d get maybe one or two good games out of him, or he’d be not so good, and then come back again. It was like that for a long time, but he has started to perform at a consistent level.
“This is what I expected we would get from him, but I think he can be better. The lad has got everything to play in the Championship, whether that’s with Leeds, us or somebody else. He’s got all the attributes.”