Barnsley striker Mallik Wilks opens up on Leeds United summer departure

Mallik Wilks says it was "clear" he had to leave Leeds United this summer calling football a "tough business" following his switch to Barnsley.

Sunday, 15th September 2019, 12:07 pm
Barnsley forward Mallik Wilks. (Getty)

The 20-year-old swapped Elland Road for Oakwell after being deemed surplus to requirements in West Yorkshire.

Wilks bagged 14 goals in League One for Doncaster Rovers last term, which was enough to convince Daniel Stendel to secure his services.

The Thorp Arch academy product has scored once in his opening six Championship fixtures for the Reds, and will take on the Whites this lunchtime in the opening Yorkshire derby of the campaign for Marcelo Bielsa.

Wilks has now revealed his disappointment at not being handed a chance to prove himself in LS11 but admits he looks back on his time at the club with "happiness".

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"It was clear to me that it was time to move on at Leeds," Wilks told Barnsley's matchday programme.

"I was a bit disappointed as I had a good season at Doncaster last year, but it shows football can be a tough business. I heard of Barnsley's interest quickly and there was just no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be here, there are some really good people here and I was told good things.

"Obviously Alex [Mowatt] was already here and we're close. He's like my little brother, which is a bit weird because he's older than me. We link up well, we got along well at Leeds and I think everyone knows the story about me being his boot boy.

"I haven't had to move home, I just moved club. For some lads coming to a new place it can be hard but it's been made easier at Barnsley by the people. We all really get on, it's not just the lads who are playing but all the staff too, they're good people here and it's a good environment for you to be in."

He added: "I spent six years at Leeds and I have to look back with happiness.

"I made my debut there at 18, which is young to play for such a big club and I was proud of that, and thankful to Leeds for giving me an opportunity.

"But times have moved on now, football moves quick, now it's all about Barnsley and I will be happy to see some faces at Leeds but myself and a few others will be wanting to show what we can do to them."