Four Leeds United youngsters tipped for breakthrough season as Whites handed Joe Gelhardt chance

Leeds United's Under-21 side was relegated last term but several young players finished the season strongly ahead of this year's campaign

Leeds United's Under-21 setup is one brimming with talent, largely due to the club's recruitment over the past couple of seasons.

Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood, Crysencio Summerville and Cody Drameh all arrived in the summer of 2020 before making their Premier League and Championship breakthroughs last season.

While it is unrealistic to expect several young players capable of competing at Premier League level to blossom at the same time, the Whites' academy setup does have the potential to produce a steady stream of first-team-ready individuals.

Spanish striker Mateo Joseph jostles for possession (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Looking ahead to the 2022/23 campaign, Leeds' Under-21 group will compete in Premier League 2 Division 2 - the second tier of Under-21 football in England.

The Whites won this division in 2021, earning promotion but were subsequently relegated during their first season at Division 1 level, primarily due to a small squad suffering from several injuries.

During that title-winning campaign, though, the aforementioned quartet, now first-team players in their own right, excelled en route to lifting the trophy, none more so than last season's breakthrough youngster Joe Gelhardt.

This year promises to be a breakout season for a handful of Leeds' burgeoning youngsters. Here is a selection of Under-21s the YEP predict will have a strong campaign, giving Jesse Marsch not only options but food for thought.

Leeds youngster Sean McGurk hurdles a challenge whilst playing Arsenal U23s last season (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

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Signed from Wigan Athletic last summer, attacking midfielder Sean McGurk featured semi-regularly for the Whites' development squad in his first season at Elland Road, showing flashes of his technical ability.

Despite the Under-21 side's eventual relegation, McGurk finished the campaign strongly and at Division 2 level, as well as being a year older and wiser, should be able to showcase his talent on a more regular basis.

The Liverpudlian midfielder has also been working hard on his physical fitness during the summer break, engaging with a personalised training regime independent of Leeds United.

Amari Miller joined Leeds from Birmingham City last summer (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Amari Miller

Another of last summer's Under-21 additions, Amari Miller took time to adapt to life at Leeds but began to excel midway through the 2021/22 campaign.

A wide forward by trade, Miller's direct style and defensive work-rate means he is likely to be a guaranteed starter for the Under-21 group this season and is expected to build on last year's promising form.

Whilst not named on the bench or in the matchday squad, Miller has travelled with the first-team group on occasion for Premier League fixtures; usually a good indicator of where the player is in his development.

Archie Gray sidesteps a Tranmere Rovers challenge during a Papa John's Trophy tie (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Archie Gray

Still one of the youngest in the Under-21 group but certainly one of the more exciting players is 16-year-old Archie Gray. Named on the substitutes' bench in the Premier League on several occasions last season, the standard in PL2 Division 2 should allow him to demonstrate his natural ability against lesser opponents, dictating games from the centre of the park.

Great-nephew of club legend Eddie Gray and son of former Leeds striker Andy, Archie is highly-rated at Elland Road and a first-team debut is not out of the question in 2022/23.

At the very least, a starting berth in the Under-21 squad should be expected throughout this season.

Mateo Joseph

Spanish forward Mateo Joseph arrived at Elland Road in January but had to wait for an injury to Max Dean before he was given a consistent run in the Under-21 side.

Joseph did not play for previous club Espanyol for several months in the lead up to signing for Leeds, meaning his start to life in England was somewhat delayed as he reached the required fitness levels.

Nevertheless, the teenage striker netted a handful of goals towards the end of the campaign, including well-taken strikes against Manchester City and West Ham United's development squads. A half-season of English football under his belt will prepare him well for this coming year.