Leeds United looked set to be on the verge of a golden generation a couple of years ago.
Indeed, their U23s won the PDL National Title back in 2019, and that success looked like the perfect launching pad for some of Thorp Arch’s brightest products to get senior opportunities, but for many of the youngsters that turned out that season, it hasn’t gone that way.
The jewel in the crown of that side was Ryan Edmondson, he netted 20 goals that season for United’s U23 outfit, but since then he has fallen by the wayside at Leeds.
Edmondson has long been seen as one of Leeds’ top young talents, making his debut for the club way back in 2018, and he got a lot of praise from Paul Heckingbottom around that time.
“He’s massive. He looks 36! But he’s a good guy and he gives everything to be a footballer. That’s what we want.” Heckingbottom said.
“I can’t have people here who don’t want to be, and I can’t have people here who go through the motions.
“He wants to play and you see that when he put someone into the third row. He’s eager, he’s keen and that should be a minimum when you play football. It’s recognition for that.”
Unfortunately, Edmondson has gone backwards since then. He didn’t make a single senior appearance for the club last season, and it was even said that he doesn’t have a future at the club by Phil Hay as the journalist speculated that his development has halted.
It seems as though it may just be a matter of time before Edmondson is moved on permanently, and this summer may have been the final nail in the coffin for the 19-year-old’s Leeds career.
Indeed, the Whites signed Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood this summer, and it seems as though that pair will quickly usurp Edmondson as Leeds’ top young strikers.
Greenwood has had a dream start to his Leeds career, netting five goals in four games, earning him the PL2 Player of the Month award for September, while Gelhardt has already opened his goalscoring account for the U23s, and he has bags of senior experience, playing 18 times in the Championship for Wigan last term.
Edmondson himself is faltering during a loan spell with Aberdeen, he’s not scored a single goal in five appearances for the Scottish outfit, and if he doesn’t hit a purple patch soon, it’ll be hard for him to convince Leeds that he has a future at the club.
It’s incredibly harsh to write a 19-year-old off like this, but all of these combined factors seem to point towards Edmondson being on borrowed time at Elland Road.
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