'Top athlete': Leeds coach praises 22-year-old's 'attitude', yet to play this season
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'Top athlete': Leeds coach praises 22-year-old's 'attitude', yet to play this season

Leeds United’s U21 manager Michael Skubala has been quoted by Leeds Live as saying that Alfie McCalmont is a “top trainer” and a “top athlete” – and details the plan he has put in place for the struggling star, with his future in doubt.

McCalmont, 22, is back at Leeds after a couple of seasons out on loan. He joined Oldham for the 2020-21 season after two senior Leeds outings – and sparkled. Playing 39 games, he had a hand in 15 goals from midfield – scoring 10.

Last season, he went to Oldham and enjoyed a decent season – but not as good as the one at Morecambe. He played 31 times, having a hand in three goals – playing in more of a deeper role. He has four Northern Ireland caps.

But this time around, there is a feeling that McCalmont has gone backwards. He is playing in Skubala’s U21 side but given his age, he is one of three over-age players allowed to feature. Skubala says Leeds have a plan in place for him.

“He’s good,” Skubala said. “He’s a top trainer, a top athlete, he has a top attitude and he’s doing well. We just have to keep working on his game, keep trying to progress him and add to his game. Hopefully he can keep being stretched.”

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Leeds U21 manager Skubala details McCalmont plan

What is the state of play regarding McCalmont? He is a player with more than 70 senior appearances under his belt, and four caps for his country. At 22, there is potential there. But the feeling is, he has taken a step backwards.

While many celebrated promotion to the Premier League, McCalmont would have much rather Leeds stayed in the Championship. Just as he was beginning to make his mark on Marcelo Bielsa. Now, he is a bit of a forgotten man.

The midfielder was on the bench, albeit unused, against Wolves. So clearly, he is having an impression on Jesse Marsch. Can he break into the Leeds side? Well, Stuart Dallas and Adam Forshaw remain injured. So, there might be a gap.

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