Cellino hails 'phenomenal' Leeds United academy wonderkid

Leeds United 2

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has praised youngster Lewis Cook as phenomenal.

Leeds owner Massimo Cellino has caused plenty of headlines this summer regarding the in's and out's at the club, but one player he is keen to see develop is Lewis Cook.

In an interview with The Telegraph published on Tuesday, Cellino singled out Cook for praise, discussing how he feels he has a big future at the club.

He said: "When I first saw this boy Cook play it was phenomenal, I wasn’t expecting to have someone so special playing for Leeds.

"He plays with personality and skill. When I found out he was 17, it was a fantastic surprise. But we must handle him in the right way. He is just 17 years old and we can **** him up if we give him too much pressure.

“We must be careful to look after him."

The owner may just have piled more pressure on the youngster inadvertently, but how the teenager develops depends on not being over-exposed over the coming seasons, and how the player himself handles the pressure.

Cook has played a prominent part in pre-season so far, and was also praised by manager Dave Hockaday at the end of July.

The midfielder is an England youth international, and Cellino certainly hopes he can help take Leeds to the top. He added that he aspires for 'six or seven' Leeds youngsters to go onto become senior England internationals in the coming years.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch