By Will Butcher
Noel Whelan has heaped praise on Alex Mowatt after he choreographed Leeds passage into the fourth round of the FA Cup on Monday night.
The 21-year-old was in sensational form as he scored one and set up another against League Two side Cambridge United, with Shaun Derry’s men looking to pull off a giant-killing.
As quoted by West Yorkshire Sport’s official Twitter account in a video after the match, Whelan described the midfielder as “quality” after he earned Leeds’ place in the next round.
“Leeds best player on the night was Mowatt,” former Leeds striker Whelan said. “He was quality; got himself in good areas of the pitch. There was a lot more energy about his game.
“It was a great assist for the equalising goal, and he was in the right place at the right time for the second.”
— BBC West Yorkshire Sport (@WYSdaily) January 9, 2017
Leeds 2014-15 player of the season has struggled to earn regular playing time under manager Garry Monk this season, as his contract begins to wind down with just six months remaining.
However, the academy product looked like he was playing with something to prove on Monday night, which could see Monk offer him a new deal.
Good work on the left flank before supplying a deep cross to Northern Ireland Stuart Dallas saw Leeds score an equaliser, before Mowatt got his head on the ball to score a winner.
Wearing the number 27 shirt, Mowatt could now be given more of a role in the first team at Elland Road but faces strong competition to regain his preferred number 10 role.
Both Kemar Roofe and new signing Pablo Hernandez sit ahead of him in the attacking midfield pecking order, but his display against Cambridge will have done Mowatt no harm at all.
In other Leeds news, Garry Monk has shared why his side struggled at Abbey Road.