Since taking over as Leeds manager in the summer following the club’s relegation and the departure of Sam Allardyce, Daniel Farke has shown a clear willingness to embrace youth at Elland Road.
The headline success story has been 17-year-old academy graduate Archie Gray, who’s started 24 of the team’s 28 Championship matches so far. Only Ethan Ampadu (2,790) has played more minutes for the club than Gray (2,436) across all competitions this season.
But the trend extends beyond the teenager – Leeds are, on average, the third-youngest team in the second tier this season at 24.1 years, only behind Sunderland (22.6) and Blackburn (23.7). 21-year-old Georginio Rutter (2,350) and 22-year-old Crysencio Summerville (2,095) both rank inside the Whites’ top seven for minutes played too.
While inherently bold, this approach is serving Farke and Leeds well up to this point. After a run of three straight wins, they look like they could achieve automatic promotion rather than having to battle their way up through the playoffs, with the gap to second-place Southampton only four points. No wonder, then, that Farke is ready to take a gamble on another youngster for his squad.
Leeds register interest in Musialowski
According to Football Insider, Leeds are now interested in Mateusz Musialowski at Liverpool. The Whites have been in touch to make clear that they would like to sign the 21-year-old winger, having already carried out some checks.
It’s made clear that there are “several” other clubs in the race to sign him this month ahead of the expiry of his deal in the summer, but Leeds have made sure they are “firmly in the race”. Signing Musialowski could grant Farke’s wish for “attacking reinforcements” prior to the January transfer window deadline.
Leeds can give “brilliant” Musialowski the platform he needs
When Musialowski arrived at Liverpool from SMS Lodz in the summer of 2020, he was heralded as the “Polish Messi”, but looking back, that moniker may have placed him under too much pressure at the outset, and he’s since struggled to live up to the hype. Three-and-a-half years on, he’s still yet to make a senior competitive appearance for Liverpool, nor has he featured in one of Jurgen Klopp’s matchday squads.
Instead, he’s played 43 games for Liverpool’s under-21 side, with 36 of them coming at Premier League 2 level. Musialowski is presently enjoying a fine season, with six goals and two assists in 11 appearances. Only five players have scored more goals in the EFL Trophy than his three, and he’s the joint top-scorer at a Premier League academy side. In addition, he was nominated for the PL2 Player of the Month award for October, alongside teammate Lewis Koumas.
Manager Barry Lewtas has applauded his “brilliant” form and his “level of consistency” this season, adding that the attacker is “taking more responsibility for his all-round game” as he reaches a new phase of maturity.
Signing a player who hasn’t featured at the first-team level would of course be a gamble for Leeds, but based on how he’s done so far this season, it may be one worth taking. It’s clear that Musialowski needs to truly launch his career away from Anfield, and Elland Road could be just the place.