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Leeds: Charlie Allen ran the show vs Bolton

Leeds United U21s’ unbeaten start to the 2022/23 campaign came to an abrupt end on Tuesday evening, with Michael Skubala’s side falling to a 3-0 defeat against Bolton Wanderers in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Indeed, with the Whites’ side lacking first-teamers Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood, as well as the youth team struggling with something of a defensive injury crisis, picking up a result against a side who currently sit seventh in League One very much looked an uphill battle ahead of kick-off at the University of Bolton Stadium.

And, after a relatively even first half, in which the home side secured a 14th-minute lead through Jón Daði Böðvarsson, Bolton’s class eventually showed in the closing stages of the fixture, with two late strikes from Amadou Bakayoko and Kieran Sadlier sealing the three points for Ian Evatt’s side.

However, despite the defeat, there were nevertheless a couple of impressive showings on display for the U21s, with Sonny Perkins once again putting in a “strong” showing despite failing to find the back of the net. However, it was Charlie Allen’s performance in midfield that particularly caught the eye on Tuesday.

Indeed, over his 90 minutes on the pitch, the 18-year-old highly impressed, enjoying 56 touches of the ball, making one key pass, taking two shots at the Bolton goal and winning seven of his 11 duels – a success rate of 64% – as well as making five tackles, three interceptions and two clearances.

These returns saw the Northern Ireland U17 international earn a very respectable SofaScore match rating of 7.0, by far and away the best of any Leeds player on the night.

Furthermore, the Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Joe Donnohue also appeared impressed with the youngster’s display, stating in his match commentary: “Charlie Allen getting really stuck in tonight. A few meaty challenges on his flank, hasn’t shirked one.”

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The journalist would go on to award the midfielder an eight in his player ratings from the fixture, as well as adding of the Belfast-born starlet’s performance: “One of the better performers, tenacious, creative but lacking power in his shooting. Work-rate up there.”

And, with Josh Bunting stating his belief that Allen has been “one of the standout performers” for the U21s so far this season, as well as dubbing the midfielder an “intelligent” player, the teenager’s display against Bolton will have done his chances of earning a call up to Leeds’ first team squad no harm at all – with the 18-year-old well and truly running the show on Tuesday evening.

Article title: Leeds: Charlie Allen ran the show vs Bolton

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