One of Leeds United‘s players was in fine form on the international stage this week.
Summer signing and youth prospect Sonny Perkins bagged a quickfire 33-minute hat-trick for the England U19s as they defeated Georgia 6-0 in their European U19 Championship qualification group game.
The teenager made his debut for the U19s alongside fellow Thorp Arch teammate Darko Gyabi, in a game that saw him bag the second goal in a 2-0 win over Montenegro.
The hat-trick was his tenth goal for club and country this campaign, building on last season’s exploits for the Irons, where he found the net 16 times across 25 appearances in the Premier League 2 and U18 Premier League.
There’s only so long that first-team manager Jesse Marsch can ignore Perkins’ obvious talents as he’s already bagged six goals in five outings for the club’s U21s, primarily playing on the right flank.
He could well be the man to usurp Joe Gelhardt, who joined the west Yorkshire in a similar fashion, arriving from Wigan Athletic.
The teenager’s form for the Hammers’ youth setup saw those around the club tout him for pretty big things. ExWHUemployee, a renowned insider at the London Stadium, once claimed to his podcast:
“One thing to also pay attention to is a West Ham youngster called Sonny Perkins,” he said. “This is someone I’ve spoken about on the podcast before as a talent, and he’s really beginning to stand out now at academy level, really getting rave reviews. From what I’ve heard in the academy circles, he could be the next Declan Rice.”
Meanwhile, Marsch is already fully aware of his exploits, having described him as an “explosive striker” and as “intelligent.”
As such, it’s surely a matter of time before we see Perkins and his talismanic ability in a Leeds shirt on the big stage and that surely spells trouble for Gelhardt in the long run.
AND in other news, Phil Hay drops Liam Cooper hint ahead of Aston Villa…