Ever-evolving Leeds United 'machine' Leif Davis signs new long-term contract at Elland Road
The evolution of Leif Davis will continue at Leeds United after the defender signed a new long-term contract to remain at Elland Road.
The club confirmed a new three-and-a-half-year deal this evening.
The 19-year-old was playing in the reserves at Morecambe as recently as 2018.
And yet last weekend he thrilled a 35,000 strong Elland Road crowd with his performance in a late cameo against Queens Park Rangers, showcasing both his searing pace and the confidence required to take players on.
Head coach Marcelo Bielsa is a fan of the youngster: the Argentine said last week that Davis is a 'very good player' with a bright future ahead of him.
Should he go on to prove his coach right, he will be following in some auspicious footsteps.
Davis began his life in the game at Wallsend Boys Club, a famous footballing institution in the north-east that has produced the likes of Alan Shearer, Peter Beardsley and ex Whites favourite Michael Bridges.
League Two outfit Morecambe spotted the defender's potential and signed him on a two-year scholarship in June 2016 and two years later, despite not having made a single senior appearance for the Shrimps, Davis attracted sufficient attention from Leeds United to warrant a move to Elland Road.
They bought him in July 2018 for an undisclosed fee, offering the Newcastle-born teenager a three-year contract.
His early contribution to Carlos Coberan's Under 23s side was good enough to earn five first team appearances last season, the first of which was a full debut in a win over Aston Villa in the Championship.
It was a whirlwind second half to last year for the youngster, but he credits his Leeds United coaches for not only helping him make the step up from the level at which he was playing for Morecambe reserves, but for moulding him into a more versatile defender.
"From playing reserve games at Morecambe, it was tough going into U23 level here, as you're playing against bigger players, who have been at higher clubs for longer than you, and they've had access to more resources," he said.
"The coaches at Thorp Arch have been fantastic, and they've helped me come a long way from where I was at the start of the summer [in 2018]. I came in as a left-back, and they've helped me to start playing as a centre-back. I like playing both positions, and they're always helping me to identify what my strengths are and improve upon them."
This season he appeared from the bench in the opening game at Bristol City before starting the EFL Cup ties against Salford City and an experienced Stoke City side, against whom he showcased his aerial ability in both boxes.
A spell outside the matchday squad was ended at Millwall in October and he has been named as a replacement on the team-sheet in the five games that have followed.
His performances in training at Thorp Arch have led experienced team-mate Luke Ayling to describe him as a 'machine.'
Ayling, who once told Davis after an Under 23s game against Barnsley that if he could make the step up to that level, he could play at any level, said in an interview with the YEP: "Leif is always training with us, he’s a machine so he’ll come through soon."
Davis will become the latest of several Leeds players to put pen to paper on contract extensions. Liam Cooper, Stuart Dallas, Kalvin Phillips, Luke Ayling and Mateusz Klich have all agreed new deals since the summer.