Kalvin Phillips talked up the talent and potential of Jack Clarke after the winger pushed his claim for a first senior start with a convincing outing at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
Clarke is among the players vying for a bigger opportunity at home to Ipswich Town Wednesday's after Leeds’ second Championship defeat of the season left head coach Marcelo Bielsa pondering possible changes to his team.
The 17-year-old, whose debut for United had come at home to Brentford two weeks earlier, was given the final 14 minutes at Ewood Park with Leeds trailing 2-1 and Bielsa searching for a solutions to a lethargic performance.
Clarke breathed more life in the game with four shots on goal and repeated attacks down Blackburn’s right, enhancing his chances of more first-team outings under Bielsa.
United’s boss brought him into the fold in the summer, allowing Clarke to train with the senior squad during pre-season and lining him up for appearances in the Championship.
Phillips - himself a product of Leeds’ academy - said: “He’s a massive talent. He’s been training with us since the start of the season and we’ve always known that he’s the type of player who can take people on and get the people excited.
“He did that (at Blackburn) and if he carries on working like he has done then he’ll get better and better.”
Bielsa has options available to him as Leeds look to respond to Saturday’s result at Ewood Park and the 63-year-old is expected to confirm today whether defender Pontus Jansson will be available for the clash with Ipswich.
Jansson’s wife gave birth to their first child, a girl called Bella, yesterday and he is currently in Sweden having flown home after full-time at Blackburn.
The centre-back is still awaiting the outcome of a Football Association misconduct charge brought against him over comments made about referee Jeremy Simpson at the end of United’s draw with Brentford 17 days ago.