Six games in and Leeds United’s 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign was basking in shining lights and sparkling glory; six games out and it is a dulled campaign limping to its sorry end.
It has definitely been a season of contrasts and transition as Leeds United attempted to build on the solid springboard that last season’s 7th place finish granted to them. Many new faces were brought in to push The Whites onwards, some for the first team and others to restock what had become decimated Under-18 and Under-23 squads.
One of those brought in to ostensibly pack out the Under-18s was rangy striker Ryan Edmondson who joined from York City in November 2017. His arrival at Elland Road came just a month after he made his first-team début as a 16-year-old for the Minstermen. He signed a deal for the Whites that will run until June 2020 and there are rumours the ubiquitous ‘undisclosed fee’ was of a sizeable nature – some quoting figures in the region of £200,000.
Since joining up with Leeds United, the young striker has certainly proven himself comfortable in front of goal netting seven times in seven appearances. Such has been the way that he’s acclimatised to life with the Whites that Paul Heckingbottom has admitted that he’s impressed with the youngster.
Speaking in the usual press conference (reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post) ahead of the Sunderland game, Heckingbottom said of Edmondson, “We had him training with us a few weeks ago and used him in a game and he did really well. From my own point of view I think he has a great attitude. He behaves like a man in terms of his enthusiasm, what is expected and how vocal he is which is nice to see in young players because you don’t often get that.”
However, Heckingbottom did add a note of caution to his effusive praise of the young striker, caution that add a tinge of realism. Warning against pushing the youngster too far, too fast, the Leeds United boss said, “Everyone speaks well of him. We have to make sure we’re giving him all the right stimulus in terms of challenge and also the support to keep pushing him, because at 16 you’re still a long way off being what you can be – he’s in a good place at the minute.”
One final parting shot that will fill Leeds fans with some hope of seeing the rated youngster this season was what Heckingbottom said in reply to wither it was out of the question seeing him this season. On this Heckingbottom simply replied, “No, he’s on form.”