By Alex Stevens
Lewis Cook has been named in the England Under-19s squad for their forthcoming friendly double-header in Mexico as a reward for another fine season.
Cook, an established figure in the age group for the national team after making his debut in March of last year, is a virtual shoo-in for the Under-19s European Championships in July.
This is further recognition of the progress made by the 19-year-old since he broke into the Leeds team last season.
Cook, 19, was named the Football League Young Player of the Year last month after beating off competition from fellow nominees Fulham striker Mousa Dembele and Walsall left-back Rico Henry to land the coveted gong.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) May 16, 2016
Cook followed in the footsteps of the 2015 winner Dele Alli, who has gone onto receive international honours and wide acclaim in his first season at Tottenham. Gareth Bale (2007) and Fabian Delph (2009) are also internationally recognised previous winners of the award.
The Leeds playmaker is an integral member of Aidy Bothroyd’s England Under-19s side which recently secured a place at this summer’s showpiece tournament in Germany.
Cook, 19, has been a mainstay of the Leeds team for a second consecutive season, starting 41 of their 46 Championship matches in 2015/16 and providing further evidence of the potential that has made him a regular in the international set-up.
However, there is growing doubt about Cook’s Leeds as he approaches the final year of his contract with the Championship giants.
The latest Leeds news is that ex-Elland Road striker Noel Whelan has urged the club to tie Cook and his youthful team-mate Charlie Taylor down to lucrative deals or risk another Sam Byram situation.