Leeds United youngster assesses recent position switch as Marcelo Bielsa makes request

Leeds United midfielder Jack Jenkins is happy to play anywhere as he continues to eye Marcelo Bielsa's first team.

By Joe Urquhart
Friday, 24th December 2021, 12:56 pm
Updated Friday, 24th December 2021, 12:58 pm

The 19-year-old has been a regular for the club's development side in the Premier League 2 over the past 18 months.

Head coach Mark Jackson has utilised his skills in his natural home in the middle of the pitch though has twice recently tested his abilities on the right side of defence.

Jenkins - who made his senior debut in the FA Cup at Crawley Town in January - was deployed as a wing-back against Manchester City last month and again for the home clash with Leicester City in a 0-0 draw on Monday night at Under-23s level.

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Leeds United youngster Jack Jenkins. Pic: Getty

Marcelo Bielsa was in attendance at York for the final outing of 2021 for the Whites youngsters and wanted to test out the Thorp Arch academy product in new surroundings.

"I don't usually go out to right-back," Jenkins reflected of his position switch against the Foxes.

"It's something the manager wants. I've got to be able to play multiple positions if I want to play in the first team.

"If I have got to do it, I have got to do it. Obviously I prefer my position in midfield. But I'll play anywhere. It is still football at the end of the day."

Asked about a tough recent run in the academy ranks which now sees Leeds winless in their last 10 PL2 games, Jenkins added: "We've not had the results we wanted but we're playing against better players and bigger teams.

"It was always going to be hard with the players chopping and changing positions - it was always going to be tough. Hopefully we can grab some better results next year."

Development boss Jackson was also quizzed about Jenkins' brief try out at right-back.

"Players need to be multi-functional. We know that here. That's just a change where the manager wanted to look at Jack in that position," he said.

"Sometimes it can be disruptive for the team but the boys cope really well with it. They're really effective at adapting and adapting their mindset within the game, because it's not easy to play one position and then switch to another one.

"Sometimes you get a rhythm and a flow to a game in a particular position and a player you're playing up against and then you have to change that into a different area of the pitch.

"It's ever so important in how we play as a club that players can do that. It's just another example of us trying things and helping the players adapt to those positions."