Leeds United are set to step young midfielder Alfie McCalmont’s development up by sending him out on loan to a League One club next season, according to Football Insider.
The one-cap Northern Ireland international is yet to make his league bow for Leeds but made two appearances in the EFL Cup in the 2019-20 campaign.
In need of regular game-time, Leeds sent the 21-year-old across the Pennines earlier this season to League Two side Oldham Athletic, where he linked up with controversial Elland Road figure Harry Kewell who was then the manager of the Latics.
Despite Oldham finishing in the bottom half this season, McCalmont’s personal progress will have pleased Marcelo Bielsa, having scored eight goals from midfield in 34 outings, five of those coming in the previous 11 matches with two assists in that time as well.
In what Oldham fans will see as a big blow though, McCalmont is not set to return to Boundary Park next season, with Leeds reportedly wanting him to step up a division.
And if he stays relatively locally like he did this season, then a team like Doncaster Rovers, Accrington Stanley or Wigan Athletic could get a real boost in their engine room.
Leeds United quiz: Does Elland Road have a higher or lower capacity than these 18 grounds?
This is an obvious step in McCalmont’s progression and one he will no doubt take with both hands.
If you believe the reports then Bielsa rates the 21-year-old very highly and if he can take his goalscoring exploits for Oldham and transfer them to a team that is a level higher, then you’d expect McCalmont to be in the Championship at least in 2022.
It’s definitely a blow for Oldham though who will have been hoping to get him back for another season – but his form in the last month or so will have alerted League One clubs to him and even more will be interested now his availability has become clearer.