Attention at Leeds United is firmly focused on achieving promotion to the Premier League, but somebody at Elland Road will be focusing on the progression of the club’s talented youngsters out on loan, with Mallik Wilks surely someone delighting his parent-club.
Leeds opted to extend Wilks’ loan deal at Doncaster Rovers recently, meaning he will spend the remainder of the campaign with the League One outfit. The Whites also extended the forward’s Elland Road contract until the summer of 2022, another sign they are delighted with his current loan spell.
Wilks, 20, made a Leeds debut under Garry Monk. Featuring from the bench in an embarrassing FA Cup defeat to Sutton United. Since then, he hasn’t made much progress at Elland Road, but he’s impressing elsewhere and is surely a player supporters will expect to see in the first-team at Elland Road in the coming years.
The forward has real pace and is so productive in the final third. This season for Doncaster he’s scored 10 goals and registered a further seven assists, impressing as a wide forward, a position that Leeds aren’t blessed with options.
Marcelo Bielsa hasn’t been afraid of handing youth a chance this season, with Jack Clarke, Jamie Shackleton, Will Huffer, Leif Davis, Jordan Stevens and Aapo Halme all amongst those to make debuts this year. There’s every chance that had he had Wilks available to him, he would’ve featured anyway this season.
With another year of first-team football under his belt at Doncaster, Wilks will be looking ready for a first-team chance in pre-season, with the view of forcing the Argentine into a decision next season.
Of course, the division Leeds are playing in next season might be a factor, but Bielsa hasn’t been put off playing the kids when the stakes are high and it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise to see Wilks involved in some capacity next season.
Leeds are clearly delighted with the progress he’s making at Doncaster and supporters should be encouraged to see a player that could offer so much in the future having an impact in League One.