Morecambe manager Stephen Robinson is impressed by the impact “top quality” Alfie McCalmont has made at the club since arriving on loan from Premier League Leeds United, speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
After making his mark in the fourth tier during a spell at Oldham Athletic in 2020/21 – producing ten goals and five assists for a side that would make Ian Holloway’s Blackpool look restrained – McCalmont has made the step up to the next level with consummate ease.
The Northern Ireland international is already one of the first names on League One Morecambe’s team sheet, shining in a box-to-box role rather than in the deep-lying, Kalvin Phillips-style position he tended to play at his parent club.
Does McCalmont have a future at Leeds United?
“I knew I was getting a top-quality young signing,” says Robinson, a coach who honed his reputation as an excellent developer of young talent at Motherwell.
“We want more from him on the ball because we know he’s very capable of that. In the last three or four games he’s been excellent – and he’s been a big part of what we’re doing. He’s got a brilliant attitude and fitted into the group really well.
“We press in what you might say is a poor man’s version of Leeds. We’re not quite as cavalier as Leeds or as good as Leeds at it, but Alfie obviously brings those attributes.
“You can definitely see that’s a trait from Bielsa and the coaching he’s had at Leeds.”
It remains to be seen whether 21-year-old McCalmont, who caught the eye with composed and commanding displays during Leeds’ 2019 pre-season tour, will return to Elland Road at the end of this season and force his way into the first-team picture.
The lack of adequate cover for Phillips has been exposed on numerous occasions in the past 12 months. England’s player of the year has just withdrawn from the international squad with a calf injury after all.
McCalmont, at least on paper, would be a more natural replacement for Phillips than Robin Koch or Pascal Struijk.