HEAD-TO-HEAD: Cook vs Murphy - Who is the better Leeds prospect?

Leeds United East Stand

We take a look at how Lewis Cook has become a better prospect than Luke Murphy at Leeds United.

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Before moving to Leeds United in 2013 Luke Murphy was considered one of the brightest prospects in the Football League.

The central-midfielder had emerged as a brilliant, creative influence on a Crewe side famed for producing stars through their academy. 

Murphy was tipped to be one of the best to come off the reputed conveyer belt of talent at Gresty Road in recent memory, but his career since arriving at Elland Road has rather stagnated.

Much was expected of the £1 million arrival when he was brought to Yorkshire, but he hasn't lived up to the hype and the man once considered the most exciting starlet in the lower divisions is no longer even the best youngster at his own club.

This season the 24-year-old, who was expected to step-up, has has lost his place in Leeds' starting line-up due to the coming of age of Lewis Cook and it is easy to see why the 17-year-old has displaced him in the team when looking at the stats.

  ShotsChances createdTotal PassPassing AccuracyTouchesInterceptionWon TackleCompleted dribblesAppearancesMins Played
Lewis Cook 4 3 219 79.452054794521% 290 10 7 6 7 399
Luke Murphy 2 6 149 73.825503355705% 206 8 6 0 4 351

Cook may only just be experiencing his first taste of senior football, but he is surpassing Murphy in nearly every area of the game.

Although Murphy has created more chances, Cook is far more accurate when distributing the ball to his team-mates, whilst he is also proving to be more available. 

More than that, a midfielder famed for his ability to go forward is showing that he can be useful defensively too and at the base of Leeds' midfield diamond he has provided the sparkle. 

Leeds have been much improved under Neil Redfearn, who entrusted Cook to make the step-up from academy star to first-team regular, and he is repaying the faith the 49-year-old showed in him during his time as caretaker boss in abundance.

Darko Milanic, who was announced as manager of Leeds this week, will now be able to benefit from Cook's talents, but he must not be put off by his inexperience.

The Slovenian would be wrong to change too much after taking over and, as the stats show, dropping Cook would be a big mistake.

He is already proving to be ready to be thrown into life in the hustle and bustle of the Championship and he looks a player that the Whites will be able to build their team as they plot to move forward under their new manager. 

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