Leeds United youngster Jordan Stevens will end up spending his whole career in League One level if he doesn’t up his game.
That is according to ex-United striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about worrying comments made by Leeds legend John Sheridan about the 20-year-old.
United recalled Stevens from his loan at Swindon Town, managed by Sheridan, last week and struck a deal for him to join Bradford City for the rest of the season.
Speaking to the Swindon Advertiser, Sheridan warned the youngster that he needed “more fire in his belly” after offering some insight into why the loan spell had not gone to plan.
Stevens, who can play right-back or right midfield, started just five league matches for the League One side and failed to establish himself in the team.
Asked if it Sheridan’s comments highlighted a concern about Stevens’ desire, Whelan told Football Insider: “If somebody doesn’t have that, you’re not going to go to the top level. It’s as simple as that.
“Stevens will flirt around League One standard, maybe the Championship, but if you haven’t got that desire to really want to be aggressive in games and really grab the scruff of the neck in games and be that player that is pushing the team forward, then you’ll always be just a follower.
“If he doesn’t do that, and John Sheridan has played at the top level and been a top player, I used to watch him as a kid, he will see that because he’s a midfield player, and he will see that from Jordan Stevens.
“If he hasn’t got it in him…John Sheridan will know whether he can go to the top or not.
“At the minute he obviously doesn’t think he can because there’s not enough desire there to make it work. I think from the words of John Sheridan, from what he’s seen, it’s not been enough.”