Leeds United have endured a tough and frustrating second season in the Premier League as they find themselves on the cusp of a relegation battle but amid the mounting injury crisis and disappointment on the pitch, there has been at least one positive.
Another one of the club’s promising academy starlets, Liam McCarron, made the most of Marcelo Bielsa’s busy treatment room on Saturday after he made his senior top-flight debut for the club.
The 20-year-old winger replaced fellow substitute Crysencio Summerville in the 81st-minute.
After the game, McCarron made note of his pride on Twitter, where he said: “Unfortunate not to be getting the results we deserve at the moment but delighted to make my premier league debut in front of these incredible fans, we keep pushing.”
The young prospect signed for the Yorkshire giants from Carlisle United in 2019 and has emerged as a bit of a utility player for Mark Jackson’s U23 squad.
Indeed, the 5 foot 9 dynamo has largely played as a left-back but can also play in central midfield and further up the wing. In some ways, this could echo the role of Stuart Dallas under Bielsa.
The Northern Irishman, despite being a midfielder by trade, is nicknamed the ‘Cookstown Cafu’, which only goes to show the level of performance he often achieves when deployed at full-back, rather than in his natural role.
McCarron has played 12 times for the U23s in the Premier League 2 this campaign, where he has contributed a goal and an assist from left-back, as per Transfermarkt.
Capped by Scotland at U19 level, the versatile gem could well follow in the footsteps of the 30-year-old in the first-team squad and he could prove to be a valuable asset to Bielsa considering the ongoing injury nightmare.
His former academy coach at the Cumbrians, Darren Edmondson, once described him as a player “with no ego, no airs and graces”, also claiming that “his work rate is unbelievable.”
After making his senior bow at the weekend, McCarron will be hoping he can continue to catch the eye of Bielsa during a desperate time of need. In the young dynamo, the Argentine could well discover another priceless Dallas-like presence.
He’s certainly one to keep an eye on.