Insider: 17-year-old promoted to Leeds senior squad, travelled to Fulham
By Alex Stevens
Leeds rookie Callum Nicel was promoted to the senior squad for their 1-1 Championship draw against Fulham on Tuesday night, according to an Elland Road insider.
The Leeds United Academy Twitter account has claimed that the midfielder, 17, travelled with the first team to London for the league encounter.
Well done to 17 year old Callum Nicell who travelled with the #lufc first team last night
— Lufcyouth (@leedsutdacademy) March 8, 2017
Nicell, who has yet to make his first team debut, was not named in the matchday 18 by manager Garry Monk for the fixture but appears to have been cherry-picked to gain experience of top-level football.
The Irish-born midfielder is a first-year scholar in the Leeds academy but has made such progress that he has been playing for the club’s Under-23s.
Nicell was named in the starting XI by Jason Blunt, the manager of the development side, for last Friday’s 2-0 defeat against Barnsley at Oakwell.
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It appears that the Englishman has been earmarked by Monk and his coaching staff as one to watch among the academy intake.
The likes of Charlie Taylor, Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips have all progressed through the club ranks to become established first-teamers, while Sam Byram and Lewis Cook did the same in previous seasons before securing transfers to Premier League outfits West Ham and Bournemouth respectively.
The unofficial Leeds United academy account is establishing a reputation as an increasingly reliable source of Leeds youth team news.
The account also revealed last week that academy goalkeeper Theo Richardson has been told that he is free to leave the club.
The Leeds senior side are back in action on Saturday when they host 14th-placed QPR in Championship clash at Elland Road.
Monk’s side will be aiming to avoid a repeat of the opening match of the season, when they were turned over in a 3-0 defeat at Loftus Road by a Rangers side then managed by Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink.
In other Leeds transfer news, the club are to pounce and re-sign a 23-year-old after a £10million transfer is all but sealed.