Leeds 16-y/o wonderkid fast-tracked into team v QPR, he's most exciting youngster called up yet
COMMENT By Richard Parks
Ryan Edmondson is to be fast-tracked into the Leeds squad for the final Championship match of the season – and it’s the most exciting player promotion yet by Paul Heckingbottom.
As revealed by Football Insider, Edmondson is to be named on the substitute’s bench for the season finale against QPR on Sunday after catching the eye of the manager.
What a rapid rise from the ranks for the wonderkid, who is 16 and does not turn 17 for three more weeks.
Signed from York City in January, Edmondson has been in stunning form for Leeds’ Under-18s this season, helping them win the Professional Development League north division this term with his prolific goalscoring.
Frustrated by the lack of goals and all-round impact of senior forward quartet Pierre-Michel Lasogga, Caleb Ekuban, Jay-Roy Grot and Kemar Roofe, Heckingbottom has turned to the youth team to once against strengthen the senior side.
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Heckingbottom bloodded a number of youngsters at the back end of this season due to the twin factors of wretched senior player form and a crippling injury list at Elland Road.
The likes of Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Tom Pearce and Paudie O’Connor have been drafted into the senior XI in the last couple of months and now Edmondson is set to be fast-tracked.
Many Leeds fans would have expected Sam Dalby, two years older at 18 and a regular scorer for the Under-23s, to get the senior squad nod first.
But Edmondson has catapulted into contention due to dazzling displays for the Under-18s, including a hat-trick against Burnley in March,
Born in Harrogate but a Leeds fan, Edmondson progressed quickly through the ranks at York and had even made his first-team debut for the Minstermen in the month before moving for an undisclosed fee.
At the time, City boss Martin Gray said: “I think it is fantastic for everybody. He’s definitely worthy of the opportunity to play at that level as a future Championship and, potentially, Premier League player.
“He’s gone to the right club – the set-up and the environment he’s going to is great and he is a Leeds boy so it makes a lot of sense and it’s really exciting.”
Credit to Edmondson for grasping his opportunity.
He is in the right place at the right time, and his debut will be eagerly anticipated by Leeds fans.