Leeds United have handed a professional deal to academy striker Mallik Wilks just two weeks after his breakthrough into the first-team squad.
Eighteen-year-old Wilks has agreed a contract to the end of the 2017-18 season on the back of a run of consistent performances for United’s youth teams and an appearance on the bench in a 2-0 Championship win over Reading on December 13.
Wilks, who grew up in Chapeltown, was drafted into Garry Monk’s 18 after a spate of injuries including one affecting forward Marcus Antonsson left Leeds’ head coach with an acute shortage of players.
The youngster’s pace and finishing has consistently caught the eye at Thorp Arch and he has progressed rapidly since receiving a scholarship in 2015. Wilks is the only member of the 12-strong group of scholars signed up that year to earn professional terms.
He has played in all of United’s Under-23 and Under-18 fixtures this season and Monk tipped him for a successful career after the youngster’s first taste of a senior fixture earlier this month.
“Mallik’s been training with us regularly and he’s got a future if he wants it and does the right things,” Monk said.
“He got on the bench just to give him that experience and there could have been an opportunity where he came on. We didn’t feel it was right in that game but his job is to understand that this is the type of environment you’re working towards.”
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