With Kalvin Phillips shining on the international stage with England at Euro 2020 this summer, Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa will likely be keen to unearth the club’s next big thing.
After seeing Leeds United’s under-23s clinch the Premier League 2 Division 2 title a few weeks ago, the Whites boss would no doubt have been earmarking some of the players who could make a real impact at first team level at Elland Road.
While he isn’t a holding midfielder like Phillips, he has also come through the Yorkshire club’s academy and looks like another one of those players off the production line who puts his heart and soul into being the best he can be.
After pictures emerged of him in pre-season training looking more physically built than ever before, former Leeds striker Noel Whelan waxed lyrical about the kind of progress the teenager has made and touted him for big things.
The 46-year-old said: “From the pictures, you can see he’s put in a lot of work, a lot of effort. He’s taking his role at the club very seriously about pushing Koch, Cooper, Llorente and Struijk. That’s good to see. I want to see that from young players.
“Doing that little bit extra, going that extra mile to put themselves in fantastic shape. We know how competitive the Premier League is and for places at Elland road now. They’re going to be even more competitive.
“It just goes to show we don’t need any more centre-halves. Cresswell, when played last season in the EFL Cup game he was fantastic. He was a standout and he’s definitely one to the future. When you look at him now in stature, he doesn’t look like he’d be fazed coming up against any bigger centre-forwards. He is an absolute beast.”
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 utilise the potential of Cresswell, who has also shown his leadership skills by captaining the youth teams.
The 18-year-old could well become the next big Leeds United success story from the academy after Phillips.