Leeds United's Mallik Wilks
Accrington Stanley today confirmed the signing of Leeds United youngster Mallik Wilks - and the forward has admitted that he is excited to get going at the Wham Stadium.
The Whites have been famed for their work producing young players through their academy over the years, with the likes of Scott Carson, Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor, Aaron Lennon, Jonny Howson, Fabian Delph, James Milner and Danny Rose all passing through the Elland Road academy.
Current manager Thomas Christiansen has players such as Kalvin Phillips and Ronaldo Vieira at his disposal, both of whom have come up through the ranks with Leeds, though some players need first-team football elsewhere before becoming first-team players.
A general view outside Accrington's Wham Stadium
Leeds sent left back Tyler Denton out on loan to Port Vale earlier this month for that very reason, and now Mallik Wilks has also joined a League Two club on loan, penning a deal with Accrington Stanley.
Wilks, 18, has come up through the ranks with the Whites having been born in Leeds, and after signing his first professional deal in December 2016, he made his first senior appearance in an FA Cup tie against Sutton United back in January.
Wilks continues to be highly rated at Elland Road, and he was even on the bench for Tuesday's Carabao Cup clash with Newport County - but now he has been sent out on loan for first-team football with Accrington.
Wilks, who now follows a similar path to former Leeds academy product Tom Lees in joining Accrington on loan from the Whites, has told Accrington's official website that he is excited to play senior football after spending so long in the Leeds youth ranks, and hopes to help John Coleman's men fight for promotion to League One.
“I’m here to play games, score goals and help the club fight for promotion,” said Wilks. “Accrington is a club with great league history and I hope that I can add my name to that history.
“I’ve been at Leeds since I was 15, this is my first loan spell and I am excited to get going and make that step up from development squad football to senior league football,” he added.
It's a sharp turnaround for Wilks, to go from being on the bench against Newport to now preparing to play for Accrington against Notts County, but Leeds will be hoping to see him thrive in East Lancashire and come back to Elland Road a better player when his loan ends in January.