Whites academy star Alfie McCalmont has been tipped by Leeds Live to be Marcelo Bielsa’s next big breakthrough talent at Elland Road.
The boss made it a habit of his during his inaugural season in West Yorkshire to promote from within, with Jack Clarke, Jamie Shackleton and Tyler Roberts the most notable first-team members plucked from the academy and given a regular chance by the Argentine.
Bielsa also turned Kalvin Phillips into a defensive midfield anchor coveted by Premier League sides, and a player we would struggle to replace if promotion is the goal once again.
The loss of Pontus Jansson has left the squad starved of senior centre-backs with Championship experience, though, and has raised question marks as to will Bielsa drop Phillips into the defence more frequently next season. And if he does, who will replace the Leeds-born talent?
Well, Leeds Live have hinted at McCalmont becoming the next man to rise from Carlos Corberan’s ranks to be a fixture of the first-team, having joined Bielsa’s tight-knit cluster for pre-season training this summer.
Fellow Under 23s star Mateusz Bogusz was also working more closely with our Argentine head coach than ever before, and caught the attention of the Elland Road faithful for his efforts in the win over Western Sydney Wanderers.
His efforts somewhat put a shadow over McCalmont’s, but the 5 ft 7 central midfielder is highly rated within the walls of Thorp Arch and Elland Road, and may be given plenty of responsibilities going forward.
The 19-year-old Northallerton-born ace earned his stripes under Corberan last season by displaying a calm style to his game, and almost resembled Phillips in ways as he dominated the centre of the junior field.
He also likes to keep it simple, yet has an eye for goal from outside the box – as evident by his match-winning strike against Millwall last August – which could come in handy when the opposition inevitably sit backs to try and shut us out.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 20, 2018