Ranking Leeds United's top five youngsters: Cook or Mowatt #1?

Lewis Cook

Who is Leeds United's best young player?

Leeds United have one of the most prolific academies in football, with their young players key to their current hopes of success.

Here is a look at the top five, ranked in reverse order...

5) Kalvin Phillips

Phillips was handed his debut at the end of last season after superb performances for the under-21s, and repaid the faith shown in him with a goal. He is a box to box midfielder but has found opportunities hard to come by this campaign due to the competition for places. The 19-year-old has eight Championship appearances to his name in total.

4) Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor may be fourth on this list, but earlier this season he was the most in-form player of any youngster at Leeds. The defender has made the left back spot his own after the club sold Stephen Warnock earlier this year to Derby. The 22-year-old has 40 appearances for Leeds and three goals, also showing his versatility last season by filling in at left-wing.

3) Sam Byram

Sam Byram has made more appearances for Leeds than any player on this list. He netted for the Whites in their friendly game on Friday, a match in which he started out wide on the wing. Byram has struggled for form this season but there is a reason fans are anxious he commits his future to the club, with his contract expiring at the end of the current campaign and Premier League sides circling. He has played 134 competitive games for the club, scoring 11 times.

2) Alex Mowatt

20-year-old Alex Mowatt really suffered this season under head coach Uwe Rosler, losing his confidence. In recent games he has shown it is well and truly back. The midfielder is the most explosive of Leeds United's youngsters, possessing game changing ability and accuracy from set pieces. He has 12 goals in 82 games for Leeds, and there is a credible argument he should be number one on this list.

1) Lewis Cook

Cook may not possess the long range shooting ability of Alex Mowatt, but his talents are just as important. The teenager makes his role look so simple at times, that it is easy to forget he is only 18, and has already played a full season as a starter in the Championship. Cook can go far, and hopefully for Leeds' sake it is with them, as he is the best bet to become a full England international. Even when Leeds' performances dipped this season, Cook was a model of consistency and did not let his own game suffer. He has one goal in 52 appearances for the Whites so far in his career.

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