Who is new Leeds United signing Charlie Allen? The lowdown from those who know him

Leeds United have landed the signature of highly-rated Northern Ireland youngster Charlie Allen.

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 9:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 10:08 am
Leeds United land youngster Charlie Allen. (LUFC)

The Whites announced the capture of Linfield's Charlie Allen on Tuesday morning.

The 16-year-old will link up with the club's Under-18s side initially, but who is he and why have Leeds moved to bring him to West Yorkshire on a scholarship deal?

We get the lowdown from those who have watched his development.

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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 kind of player will Leeds be getting?

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.

"I've watched him a few times, coming on for Linfield and in terms of the buzz around him, people seem to be impressed with his ability to adjust to that next level, that next challenge and the maturity he has," said Van Dort.

"He doesn't try to do too much, he doesn't get flustered on the ball, speaking to team-mates they trust him.

"Fans have compared him to Billy Gilmour [Chelsea teenager] in terms of playing style, he's got game intelligence and at first team level for Linfield he's been disciplined.

"People say he's a dream to coach, a good listener and ticks the boxes you'd expect of someone so highly rated."

What has been said about him?

David Dorrian (Linfield Swifts U20s head coach)

“He has the world at his feet," he said.

“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.”

Jim Magilton (Irish FA Elite Performance Director)

"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.”

Were any other teams interested in his services?

Linfield’s academy director Glenn Ferguson last month expressed his preference for Allen to make a move to Leeds or another club outside the top flight, over one of the Premier League giants.

“Charlie over the course of the year has been to Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea were interested,” he told The Belfast Telegraph.

“With all due respect, Manchester City can go and get 20 Charlie Allens from across the world.

“He’s maybe better off going to a club like Ipswich or Leeds where someone like Stuart Dallas can take him under his wing.

“If he joins a club like Stuart Dallas and Gavin Whyte did, he can progress from there. They need to be playing football when they do go there.

“The big clubs sound good but only one in 30 of the young players Manchester City might sign will eventually play in the first team.”