Why Charlie Taylor has risen to the summit of Leeds' core of youngsters so quickly

Elland Road pitchside

Along with his excellent performances, the path to the top has been unexpectedly clear for the Leeds United left-back.

Before the arrival of manager Uwe Rosler just a number of months ago, Charlie Taylor was the academy graduate in the first team picture with the most to prove.

His route into the senior squad had come through Neil Redfearn, the much-respected former academy boss, who consistently showed his loyalty to the youngsters who he had seen grow up at Thorp Arch.

Even in his surprisingly short-lived spell, Redfearn was aware that the likes of Taylor would outlast him, and that their initial blooding would help the player and the club long after he was gone.

But unlike his fellow friends and teammates who had made the step up into the Leeds team, Taylor was the one who arrived quietly. Ready to learn and grow of course, but only in time. The likes of Sam Byram, Alex Mowatt and Lewis Cook had exploded onto the scene at the time of their respective step-ups.

Yet less than 10 league games into the reign of Uwe Rosler, Taylor has seemingly come from nowhere to stake his claim as the club's most prized young asset. However, as good as he has been, not entirely through his own merit.

The 22-year-old has been excellent at left-back for the Whites so far, but while he has been getting on with a role that pertains an open road for him, Leeds' other trio of Byram, Mowatt and, to a lesser extent, Cook, have been locked in fights just to find a place on the field where they can kick-start their progressions.

Particularly with Byram and Mowatt - the pair who were considered Leeds' next best things before Taylor and Cook even arrived on the scene - their developments at senior level have been stunted by a confusion over where they should feature for the team.

Byram has been persisted with as a winger, even though the experiment is quite evidently on its last legs. Mowatt, meanwhile, has dropped out of Rosler's preferred XI recently, with the topic of his optimum midfield role still up in the air.

Cook has performed well on the whole, but like Mowatt, his set-in-stone midfield role is still yet to be deciphered. He has impressed across a wide span of different positions there, though a firm one is still not confirmed.

In the meantime, Taylor has simply been zeroing in on a spot that he knows can be his for the foreseeable future if he wants it. While others around him are slowing, the native of York is accelerating.

He's young enough and good enough to be Leeds' first choice left-back for as long as he wants, and it's a liberty that he appears to be revelling in at present.

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