This season for Leeds United has not gone according to plan. The club, who was tipped by pundits, fans, and the team brass to be in the running for a spot in the playoffs, if not looking for promotion, has seen their form come crashing back to earth during 2018. This was greatly disappointing for everyone associated with the club, as there were a number of high-profile additions to the squad during the summer transfer window.
However, as much as the first-team additions haven’t panned out like everyone has hoped, the young players that the team has acquired have slowly, but surely, been coming together to form a pretty decent squad. The U23 went into their match today against the Millwall U23s unbeaten in seven matches and having won the last four.
A trialist in Leeds' Under-23 line-up today - 18-year-old Fulham defender Dan Martin:https://t.co/a08IfilznT— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) April 9, 2018
And while a less than full strength Leeds United U23 team did end up losing the match to Millwall 2-0 in London, one of the surprises of the match was the inclusion of Fulham’s Dan Martin. Martin is a 18 year-old defender who has spent the season with the Fulham U18s, and apparently is on a two-week trial with Leeds.
It appears that Martin is usually regarded as a fullback, but today against Millwall the young defender played in the centre of defence, partnering Oriol Rey, who usually plays as a central midfielder. The Leeds U23s were missing their usual centre back pairing, as the captain, Paudie O’Connor, made his senior debut for Leeds over the weekend. The other usual centre back, Pascal Struijk, did not play today, leading some to speculate that he might make the senior team that will face Preston on Tuesday as Leeds are down another defender after Gaetano Berardi was red-carded for a bad tackle against Sunderland and is set to miss the rest of the season.
Martin would be another British teenager recruited to the club if he ends up signing with Leeds. The club signed a number of Spanish players and other players from overseas last summer, before turning to local players during the season. Ryan Edmonson and Sam Dalby have both been signed this season, from York City and Leyton Orient, and both have impressed in their time in the Academy.
Here’s hoping that another young player signs with Leeds and comes up through the Academy. Left back is a position of need for Leeds, but don’t count on seeing Martin at Elland Road for the first team anytime soon. His signature, however, could be a sign that Tom Pearce could be in the running for a first-team spot next season.