With Leeds United’s scheduled Premier League meeting against Nottingham Forest last Monday being postponed, a number of Jesse Marsch’s first-team players were made available for selection for the Whites’ under-21’s Premier League 2 fixture against Southampton on Friday.
The likes of Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling and Junior Firpo were all included in Michael Skubala’s starting XI, while youngsters such as Darko Gyabi, Archie Gray, Crysencio Summerville and Sonny Perkins were also handed the chance to impress a crowd of nearly 11,000 at Elland Road.
Impress they did, with 20-year-old winger Summerville scoring one goal and registering three assists, Gray providing one assist and Perkins getting himself on the scoresheet with an exceptionally-placed shot to give the Whites a six-goal lead on the night, the match ultimately ending 6-2 in Leeds’ favour.
🎯 “Oh wow! Into the far corner!” pic.twitter.com/HUJIpUiBM6
— Leeds United (@LUFC) September 17, 2022
This is not the first time that the former West Ham United forward has impressed following his summer arrival. Indeed, the £1.08m-rated striker has found the net in every match he has played for the under-21s so far this season, scoring six goals in just five appearances for the youth side – returns which saw the 18-year-old named as the Premier League 2 Player of the Month for August.
This immediate impact has not gone unnoticed, with Skubala dubbing the forward “dangerous” following his goal against Southampton. Meanwhile, Marsch has also suggested that he is hugely excited to begin working with the teenager in his first-team squad.
The American said of Perkins in July (via Leeds Live): “He’s got quality. He’s an explosive striker. I think he has flexibility in the positions he can play. He’s an intelligent player. We’re really excited to add him to our club.
“He’s been at Thorp Arch training with our 21s and we’ve had really good feedback so far. I’m looking forward to getting back and getting to know him more and getting to work with him more on a daily basis.”
Indeed, it would appear a wise move for Marsch to begin including Perkins in his first-team squad sooner rather than later, as the 18-year-old very much seems to have the potential to become Leeds’ next diamond.