Leeds United: Mowatt’s rise is rewarded with England call-up

Alex Mowatt.
Alex Mowatt.
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Alex Mowatt’s dramatic rise at Leeds United was rewarded last night with a call-up to the England Under-19 squad.

The 18-year-old midfielder will be involved in next month’s game between England and Hungary after securing international recognition through his performances for United.

Mowatt, who captained Leeds’ Under-18s last season, has been a professional player for less than a year and made his Leeds debut during a Capital One Cup tie at Doncaster Rovers in August.

The academy product earned a league debut the following month and has rapidly established himself as a fixture in United’s line-up, making seven appearances in total.

He was watched by England Under-21s coach Gareth Southgate during Leeds’ clash with Birmingham City on October 20, turning in a stellar display in a 4-0 win, but he will fall under the wing of Under-19s boss and ex-United defender Noel Blake in Hungary.

England are due to travel to eastern Europe for a friendly on November 14.

The secret of Mowatt’s talent has become increasingly open in the past month and Leeds manager Brian McDermott told the YEP earlier this month that he expects the club to begin talks with the midfielder over a contract which ends in the summer of 2015.

United are already alive to interest in Mowatt and it was revealed earlier this week that Norwich City’s chief scout, Ewan Chester, is already monitoring the talented teenager.

McDermott said: “If you’re 18 and playing regularly in the Championship, you’re going to be watched. That’s how scouting works. But people can watch as much as they like. He’s going nowhere.”

McDermott, meanwhile, confirmed that Leeds are close to naming former Portsmouth and Blackburn Rovers head of recruitment Luke Dowling as their chief scout.

As reported by the YEP in July, Dowling is McDermott’s choice for the role at Thorp Arch but has been unable to begin employment amid a long wait to receive a pay-off from Blackburn.

“He’s been someone that we’re looking to do something with,” McDermott said. “The club are speaking to him.”

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