Should Leeds be playing neglected starlet touted as the 'next Johnny Giles'?

Elland Road

We take a look at whether or not Brian McDermott has missed a trick by not blooding in highly-rated youngster Chris Dawson this season.

After poor results against Bolton and Reading, coupled with results from the teams around Leeds not doing them any favours, I think it's fair to say the club is in an apathetic state. 

When Leeds fans review the negatives and positives of this season, unless they're to have a huge change in fortunes, it will once again be a season focused largely on the negatives.

However, one positive this season has undoubtedly been 19-year-old midfielder Alex Mowatt who, in my opinion, has outperformed a lot of the experienced stars in the Leeds United side and due to good breakthrough year can look forward to next season full of optimism.

And I know hindsight can be a wonderful thing, but I just can't help but think Leeds United would have been better off giving Wales under-21 international Chris Dawson the same chance.

Although in fairness to McDermott, the youngster did miss a lot of the pre-season through injury and by his own admission didn't have the strongest start.

'I started the season slowly after coming back from my injury,' said the youngster. 'I'm now building up and I'm feeling better and a lot fitter.

'When the injury was still on going I was struggling to go into any challenges with my shoulder popping in and out of place. Now I feel a lot better going into challenges and not being worried about it slipping out of place.

'I feel a lot fitter and a lot sharper so hopefully I'll be able to push on.'

And by all accounts it sounds like he has done just that after earning rave reviews from youth-team manager Neil Redfearn after their 2-2 draw with Crewe on Monday.

'It was a good performance,' said Redfearn. 'We played at a high tempo, we passed it out from the back and we created chances.

'Zac Thompson dictated from midfield and Chris Dawson was outstanding, but it was generally a good overall team performance.'

The question is now, will McDermott look to bring in the talented 19-year-old with 12 games left of the season or will he stick with the tried and tested side which have guided him to a lowly 15th place in the table.

I believe after an impressive debut against Derby County last season, it's a shame that he hasn't been able to play any more first-team football. At this point in the season, in the position Leeds are in, I believe he deserves a fair crack at the whip, so to speak.

Neil Warnock obviously thought highly enough of him to compare him to Leeds United legend Johnny Giles, so what's changed since McDermott took over the helm?

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