By Alex Stevens
New Leeds sensation Mallik Wilks is an “audacious talent”, according to a reliable journalist who has watched him emerge through the ranks.
Wilks, 17, was named in the Leeds matchday squad for the first time in their Championship clash against Reading on Tuesday night as injuries and suspensions hit a number of senior players.
The teenage striker was called up to replace £3million summer signing Marcus Antonsson, who pulled out with a back problem.
Wilks was an unused substitute in the 2-0 win over Reading and did not get the opportunity to demonstrate the progress he has made this season for the club’s Under-18s squad.
But BBC West Yorkshire correspondent Adam Pope is in no doubt about the ability of the young striker as he assessed his qualities and told fans what to expect from him.
“He is a very exciting, raw, audacious talent,” Pope told the BBC Leeds website. “I’ve heard he’s got a lot to learn technically but he’s a real talent. He’s exciting, goes past people and has a bit of bite.”
Although Wilks did not figure against Reading, he could get an opportunity in the coming matches as leading scorer Chris Wood suffered a hamstring injury 33 minutes into the clash.
Manager Garry Monk revealed afterwards that Leeds will have to wait for 24 hours to discover the severity of the injury in what could potentially be a major blow to the team.
Monk only has three senior strikers in the squad, with Wood, who has scored 14 goals this season, facing competition only from Antonsson and Souleymane Doukara.