By Pete O’Rourke
Scottish wonderkid Stuart McKinstry has joined up with Leeds United – months after agreeing terms with the club.
Football Insider revealed in April that the teenage attacker, 16, had passed a United medical and finalised a transfer from Motherwell worth up to £400,000 at the club’s training headquarters.
McKinstry has now moved to Leeds to permanently link up with the club, where he has joined the club’s academy set-up at Thorp Arch.
The rising star, who does not turn 17 until September, opted to join Leeds ahead of Premier League big hitters Southampton.
He has signed an initial scholarship deal that will be converted into a three-year professional contract on his birthday in two months’ time.
McKinstry and his family were convinced his development would best be served by joining Leeds in what is a statement of faith in the club’s increasingly impressive youth set-up.
The arrival of Marcelo Bielsa last summer helped to provide a clear pathway from the Under-23s to the senior time, with Jack Clarke and Jamie Shackleton among multiple academy products given first-team football.
McKinstry is regarded as one of the best young prospects in Scotland and was on the bench for one Motherwell match last December, only three months after turning 16.
The Rugby Park club have negotiated a sell-on clause as part of his transfer to Leeds.