Leeds: Marcelo Bielsa must finally unleash Charlie Cresswell in the Premier League

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Football FanCast

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After seeing Leeds United’s under-23s clinch the Premier League 2 Division 2 title a couple of weeks ago, Marcelo Bielsa would no doubt have been earmarking some of the players who could make a real impact at first team level at Elland Road.

While the likes of Cody Drameh and Crysencio Summerville have strong cases to be given an opportunity in the Premier League, Bielsa may want to consider finally unleashing Charlie Cresswell.

The 18-year-old was a key reason behind the title success for the under-23s, helping to marshal the back-line with his authority and composure. The teenager was instrumental in helping the Whites embark on a run of six clean sheets in nine games just after the turn of the year, with eight of those matches delivering victory.

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Speaking about Cresswell earlier this season, former Leeds striker Noel Whelan was glowing in his praise about the 1.83m (6 foot) starlet, saying: “He is the future, he’s one for the future. At that centre-half position he’s got great attributes, he’s very calm on the ball, a great size to him, he’s quick, he can head, he can pass. He’s the modern-day, young centre-half.”

After the under-23s beat Fulham 7-1 this season, Leeds Live hailed the defender in their post-match player ratings with this verdict: “His security on the ball was convincing, even indulging in a Cruyff turn inside his own defensive third to evade danger in the second half.

“Perhaps the best action of his during the game was the frequent interceptions he made. Cresswell read the play excellently, seizing on forward passes as Fulham looked to break, turning the visitors’ attacks into countering opportunities for the Whites.”

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With reports in recent weeks raising question marks over Robin Koch’s ability to succeed at Premier League level, Bielsa must surely look towards Leeds’ burgeoning academy and see the potential of Cresswell, who has also shown his leadership skills by captaining the youth sides.

The 18-year-old must be knocking on the first team door at Elland Road given what the under-23s have achieved this season, and with the Premier League campaign winding down, now seems like the perfect opportunity to give Cresswell a chance.

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