By Harry Sykes
Frank Mulhern has abruptly left Leeds and undergone a trial at their bitter rivals Huddersfield – and supporters on Twitter are mystified.
The teenage striker has been talked about by senior figures associated with the club as an outstanding young talent destined for the top.
First-team manager Garry Monk, former boss Neil Redfearn and ex-Academy chief Paul Hart are among those who have spoken warmly of Mulhern’s abilities.
But it emerged earlier this week that the 19-year-old forward was heading out of the exit door after being given the go-ahead to trial for Huddersfield.
The Terriers revealed on their official website that Mulhern had been included in their Under-23s side that beat Crewe Alexandra 2-1 in the Professional Development League on Monday.
Mulhern was later listed as ‘ex-Elland Road striker’ on the Huddersfield website to suggest that his days at Leeds had come to an end.
Amid growing confusion and no information from Leeds’ official channels, BBC broadcaster Adam Pope provided clarity on the situation to reveal that Mulhern had severed his ties with the Championship giants.
— Adam Pope (@APOPEY) February 7, 2017
Leeds fans were confused as to why the academy product had left with six months remaining on the two-year professional contract he signed in the summer of 2015.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
— Ryan Pinnick (@RPlufc93) February 7, 2017
@APOPEY It’s very strange, wasn’t Monk talking about his potential just a few months ago?
— Syze (@SyzeMatters) February 7, 2017
@APOPEY Correct. HTAFC described him as “ex-Leeds striker”. Would have been nice of LUFC to let us know they’d terminated his contract early
— Stuart Grant (@McClumsy84) February 7, 2017
— going up as champs (@lufc_16) February 7, 2017
— wayne mace (@lufc_macey61) February 7, 2017
— Kenneth Roy Brown (@kennybrown1964) February 7, 2017
Mulhern, who has earned recognition for Republic of Ireland at age-group level, was a regular for the Leeds Under-23s team last season and then agreed a loan to non-league Southport earlier in this campaign.
But the young forward struggled to make an impact at the Merseyside outfit and returned to his parent club after making a single appearance.
In other Leeds transfer news, the club are eying a stunning triple transfer swoop as three players headed into the training ground.