Alex Bruce believes Leeds United hot prospect Alfie McCalmont faces a dilemma over whether to try and secure a loan move this summer.
The former Leeds and Hull defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the 20-year-old midfielder would benefit from playing regular game time but that he may want to continue learning under Marcelo Bielsa.
Leeds Live report that when asked what he would want to do if Kalvin Phillips was sold last summer, manager Bielsa told Victor Orta that the then-19-year-old was ready and they would make it work.
Last summer, Orta asked Bielsa what he wanted if someone blew the bank for Phillips. Bielsa went away and watched every under-23 match of 18/19. He came back and said Alfie McCalmont was ready.. A long read on Bielsa's next project. #lufc https://t.co/ZZlj4NDlLu
— Beren Cross (@BerenCross) May 18, 2020
However, with Phillips remaining at Elland Road, McCalmont has just two League Cup appearances, totalling 65 minutes, under his belt.
Having seen the youngster feature as an unused substitute four times in the Championship this season, Bruce believes he would benefit greatly from playing regular, competitive football next season.
Bruce told Football Insider: “I think it’s always beneficial for a young player to go out on loan, rather than playing under-23s football.
“I think to go and pit your wits against proper professionals, where it means something, where there’s something riding on the game, it’s as good an education as you can have as a young player.
“However, if you’re that good, then it wouldn’t surprise me if Bielsa gets him in and around the first team at Leeds. If that is the case, why would you want to go if you’re in and around it?
“Leeds have got a canny little way of bringing through good, young players, they have done over the years and it just says a lot about the academy and the youth team setup because they always seem to bring some good players through.”
McCalmont made his Leeds debut as a substitute against Salford City back in August, Bielsa handing him a 20-minute runout.
However, despite a lack of game time for the Whites, he has already made his debut for Northern Ireland, playing 30 minutes in a friendly against Luxembourg last September.
In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan claims potential recruits will be tempted to join the club after Angus Kinnear’s reveal.