Teenage trio and new face spotted in Leeds United senior training as striker absence explained

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Daniel Farke has involved a trio of teenage Leeds United prospects in first team training sessions as pre-season gets underway in earnest.

Almost all of the Whites squad reported back to Thorp Arch on Tuesday of last week for testing days, before the running and training started to get underway later in the week. The likes of Daniel James, Ethan Ampadu and Junior Firpo were back earlier than initially expected, despite their international involvement at the end of last season. The same was true of Joe Rodon, who flew straight back to England from his training camp in America after securing a £10m permanent move from Tottenham Hotspur. All four men have been present and correct in the training videos Leeds have released since preparations for the new Championship campaign began. One man conspicuous by his absence in the video of days three and four is Patrick Bamford but the YEP understands the striker’s workload is being gradually increased due to the knee injury that kept him out at the end of last season.

And though 18-year-old Charlie Crew, fresh from his senior Wales debut this summer, is beginning to become a more recognisable figure for the Leeds fanbase, two of his fellow teenagers represent new faces in the first team picture. Centre-half James Debayo, also 18, has been training with Farke’s senior professionals after making 13 appearances for the Under 21s last season. An England Under 18 international, he scored his first Premier League 2 goal in the season finale against West Bromwich Albion and with Charlie Cresswell’s imminent departure and Liam Cooper’s future not yet resolved, Debayo is currently taking up residence as the third natural centre-back in Farke’s training sessions.

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The other unfamiliar face is 17-year-old midfielder Sam Chambers. A regular in the Under 18s last season, Chambers signed his first professional deal with the club earlier this year. The contract will keep him at Elland Road until the summer of 2026. He scored his first goal for the 18s against Sunderland last October and earned an Under 21s debut in March before going on to play the final eight Premier League 2 fixtures of the season. Chambers, who turned 17 in March, has been capped at youth level by Scotland.

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