Who is Leeds United target Charlie Allen? The wonderkid wanted by Liverpool and Manchester United with the 'world at his feet'

Leeds United are closing in on the signing of the 16-year-old Northern Ireland ace

By Joel Sked
Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 11:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 11:27 am

Leeds United are nearing the signing of highly-rated Northern Ireland teenager Charlie Allen.

Allen has been linked with a switch to the Premier League newboys for a number of months. Here is everything you need to know about the player.

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What position does he play?

The best way to describe Charlie Allen is a forward-thinking midfielder.

He is someone who looks like he could be developed into a No.10, box-to-box No.8 or a deep-lying playmaker in a No.6 role.

What will Leeds be getting?

Charlie Allen is on the verge of signing for Leeds United. Picture: Arthur Allison / Pacemaker Press

When watching Allen the quality which perhaps is most surprising is his strength. This is a player who won’t turn 17 until November but he has worked hard on his physique to ensure he can compete with grown men in the Northern Irish top flight, while he is still developing.

In a game against Dungannon Swifts last year a much more physically imposing opponent had a wee nibble at his ankles once he had moved the ball on and he simply got on with playing football, completely unfazed by the rough tactics.

He has proven himself adept at holding off opponents during his four first-team appearances for the 54-time Irish League champions.

That was most evident in his debut at the age of just 15 in April last year. His eight minutes on the pitch were enough to see him create the only goal for Linfield in a 1-1 draw with Coleraine. Surrounded by three opposition players with his back to goal just inside the Coleraine half, he took the ball under pressure, created space for himself before clipping a lovely pass over the top for Daniel Reynolds to hit an 88th-minute equaliser.

Speaking to the YEP in May, Patrick Van Dort, deputy sports editor for JPIMedia in Northern Ireland, noted that some fans had likened Allen to Chelsea starlet Billy Gilmour. It doesn't take long to see why they have come to that conclusion.

The way the teenager takes the ball, demands it even, shows bravery and composure and a desire to move the ball forward is highly encouraging.

Allen is a player team-mates will love, constantly looking to get in possession, making himself an option even when under pressure.

Has he attracted interest from elsewhere?

Leeds United have had to fend of plenty of interest to jump to the front of the queue for the player's signature.

A number of Premier League clubs had been sniffing around, from the big guns like Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United to Leicester City. He's had offers of trials at both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

Scottish giants Rangers had also previously been interested but their interest reportedly cooled significantly and he wasn't a summer target.

Linfield's academy director Glenn Ferguson had previously issued caution regarding a move to one of England's elite clubs where his progress and pathway to first-team football could be stunted.

What’s been said about him?

“He has the world at his feet," Linfield Swifts boss David Dorrian told Belfast Live.

“I see it in training and in games, he can turn a game himself and that is a skill you don’t coach, it's just natural ability and Charlie Allen has it in abundance.

“He’s a joy to work with and he looks like he’s always enjoying his football; you know there are an awful lot of people out there who play football for maybe the wrong reasons.

“There are an awful lot of players come to Linfield and the weight of the shirt and the badge proves difficult for them, but Charlie takes everything in his stride.”

Irish FA Elite Performance Director Jim Magilton told the YEP:“Charlie is one of those boys that you throw him on to the park and go and ask him to play,” he told The YEP.

“[He’ll] play anywhere with the same attitude and enthusiasm.

“Technically very good and physically can handle it – he is quick enough and he has a real chance.

“Great attitude, enthusiastic, and applies himself every day.

“He’s been in full-time academy from September and he’s been excellent.”

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