James Milner backs Leeds midfielder Lewis Cook to take his England spot one day

Leeds United East Stand

The Liverpool midfielder reserved special praise for a fellow United academy graduate.

James Milner has backed Leeds midfielder Lewis Cook to go all the way to the very top of the game, but stressed that it is important not to expect too much too soon from the talented 18-year-old, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports.

Cook made his first-team debut for the Whites at the age of 17 at the beginning of last season, which made him one year older than Milner when the current Liverpool vice-captain represented the Yorkshire side for the first time back in 2002. 

And the former Manchester City and Aston Villa man is backing the central-midfielder to follow in his footsteps, and go far, perhaps all the way to the international arena.

When asked about whether he would be happy to see Cook take his own spot in the England side, Milner told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "Hopefully he does at some point, I hope he does."

Despite the high praise, Milner insisted that getting carried away with how far Cook can go may have a negative impact on the youngster's development, and thus, it is important for him to keep his feet on the ground. 

"It's the same with him as it is with a lot of young English talent," he added.

"We get a glimpse of a talented youngster and the pressure is hyped on them straight away

"I have high hopes for him and want him to do well but he'll have to learn to deal with the pressure of top flight football at a young age because unfortunately that's the way the game is now."

Similarly to when the 29-year-old emerged onto the scene 13 years ago, Cook - along with several of the other academy graduates that have been handed their first-team bows in recent years - has been one of the few bright points during a difficult period for the club. 

He has already established himself as one of the first names on Steve Evans' teamsheet, and is showing the kind of glimpses of brilliance that suggest that Leeds are starting to get onto the right track, and may just be dark horses to sneak into play-off contention this season. 

Leeds fans will certainly be hoping that Cook gets to enjoy something that Milner was denied, and that is enjoying a long spell of Premier League football at Elland Road.

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