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LUFC Time to give youth and squad players a chance

Could this season finally see youth and fringe players given a chance at Leeds United.

Since the arrival of Simon Grayson to Elland Road the one thing that seems to have been overlooked is the talent from the academy coming through the system and into the first team.

We have had a steady influx of academy players come through the ranks at Thorp Arch over the years but it seems to have dried up in recent seasons.

It has probably not been helped in the past few seasons by the best of the youngsters being lured away by the big fish in the Premier League but even so, you would have expected at least one to break into the first team.

Not one academy player as made the breakthrough. Aidy White was the last player to break into the side and that was under the tenure of Gary McAllister in August 2008.

23-year-old John Howson was already an established player and another 23 year old; Ben Parker may well have been a regular if not for injuries, but he also was already a familiar face.

Instead, the majority of young players have been loaned out or even released.

Aidy White spent most of last season on loan and young defender Tom Lees as spent the past two seasons earning rave reviews in League Two.

One player not from the academy but still only 22, Adam Clayton also spent time out on loan.

We also have a tremendous bunch of first season professionals coming through.

Twins Lewis and Nathan Turner, Alex Cairns and Zac Thompson have all impressed so far in pre season when given a chance.

Thompson especially looks an exciting prospect after joining from Everton last year. He has been the pick of the young players so far in pre season.

Another first year professional, Charlie Taylor hasn`t yet played in pre season but looks to have plenty of potential at left back.

With Leeds limited activity in the transfer market this summer, are we finally going to see one or more of these players coming through?

This season we also have the talent of Ramon Nunez waiting to explode into the first team.

The 25 year old is a regular in the Honduras international side and was voted most valuable player at the Copa CentroAmerica competition as he helped Honduras win the final.

Nunez seems to be following a similar route into the first team as Davide Somma.

Somma enjoyed a very successful loan spell at Lincoln City before bursting onto the scene for Leeds.

Nunez ended last season on loan at struggling championship side Scunthorpe United and netted three times in eight games, so he has already proved he is more than capable of playing in this league.

With Somma looking like being out for the majority of the season and Billy Paynter and Ross McCormack still spluttering in front of goal could we see Nunez pushed into a more advanced role alongside Luciano Becchio?

Lets hope its this and not as a replacement for Max Gradel.

Patrick Kisnorbo has returned from a lenghty injury lay off and everyone will be hoping he can return to the sort of form that earned him the clubs player of the year in his fist season at Elland Road.

Lloyd Sam burst onto the scene when he joined Leeds last summer, scoring three times in August, but injuries ruined his season from the end of September.

Grayson definitely still needs to bring players into the squad before the season starts with only one goalkeeper with recognised experience.

Defence, midfield and attack could all do with bolstering before the season. What would be nice to see though is some of the players mentioned getting a chance and not relying on the same faces, who get comfortable in their positions in the side.

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The Journalist

Writer: Dazza71 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday July 17 2011

Time: 2:13PM

 

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