Scout Report – Mallik Wilks
Leeds United are keen to get first-team football to young striker Mallik Wilks, though since heading to Accrington Stanley in League Two on loan, his starts have been limited.
Having scored after just 9 minutes of his debut against Notts County, the 18-year-old looked like being an immediate crowd favourite but mainly substitute appearances have followed and his development has rather stalled somewhat.
Hopes are still high that Wilks will make it at Leeds and he is certainly young enough to improve significantly yet. Here’s what we know about him so far:
A local boy, born in Leeds in 1998, Wilks was picked up by the Leeds academy at an early age and has spent his whole football career with the club.
Wilks was named locally as someone very much expected to follow in the footsteps of the many players to have come through the Leeds academy and to have made it to the Premier League. Those comments are of course premature, though hopes are still high.
The forward has risen through the ranks rather quickly and has been sent out on loan to League Two with a view of seeing how he handles first-team football.
In January of this year, Wilks made his debut for Leeds in the F.A. Cup only a matter of days after his brother had been killed – a testament to his character.
Style Of Play
Speedy yet tall at 6 feet, Wilks covers plenty of ground up front and very much wants the No.9 position to himself. At this age, it’s hard for coaches to allow a player to start in the centre-forward position each week with little support so in that sense, it’s no surprise to see Wilks appearing from the bench.
Should he be given the chance up front for extended periods of time though, I’m certain he’ll show what he can do with a good return of goals to games.
It would have been no surprise to see Leeds give Wilks some cup appearances next season, but that may now depend on how much Accrington Stanley trust him in their first team ranks and also what league Leeds end up in next term.
Another loan, maybe to League One or even the Championship could be appropriate in the medium term but even though it’s early days, his long-term future appears to be at a high level. Regular Championship or even Premier League football could yet be on the cards, as long as he continues to work hard and push for starting places.