Chris Dawson has become the latest teenage sensation at Leeds United to break into the first team and commit his future to the club.
It’s superb news for Leeds who are going into a summer where they don’t have millions to spend on transforming the face of their squad, to effectively buy their way back into the Premier League.
They have been the perfect model of how to use teenagers effectively in a big high pressure team this season, which gives this 18-year-old midfielder the chance to nail down a place in the side over the next campaign.
Dawson has made just one appearance for Leeds this season, which was his senior debut for the club but he showed glimpses of the talent that suggests Brian McDermott should stick with him for a long time.
The thing that he guarantees over any other midfielder at Leeds is the passion, hunger and desire which you can only harbour at a very young age.
He’s in a very gifted position to be playing for such a big club that has a serious chance of Premier League promotion each season and McDermott is the boss to subtly let him know just that.
Dawson’s basic game is very good and can become very solid. He seems good on the ball, doesn’t turn the ball over too often and can spot a pass he can play or run into space which he can personally exploit.
He’s also very fortunate that he has the likes of Sam Byram and Tom Lees around him, who were both in his position at the start of this season.
Those players have come to know exactly what is expected from Leeds United supporters and officials throughout their performances in the first team and they can use that to help Dawson.
They can effectively give him the advice and help that they themselves wished they would have had at the start of the current campaign just to make life a little easier.
It’s not a nailed on certainty that Dawson is going to start in the first team next season but all of the early indications are positive.
He knows that McDermott is now thinking about him in first team terms which means if he can impress at Under-18 level, reserve level or any other level then it won’t be too long until he gets drafted in.
It’s also very important that he has a very sensible summer and doesn’t give the manager any reason to doubt his talent and ability, which would put him off from using him in some big games early on.
The extended contract suggests he could be leading the Leeds midfield for several years to come and fingers crossed he has a massive season next year.
Have you seen Dawson play? What do you make of him?
image: © Chris Robertshaw