While there probably aren’t too many Liverpool fans that have been keeping tabs on another season of unfulfilled-expectation for Leeds United in the Championship, there could be a few who switch-on for the final weeks of the season as their club reportedly monitors a young star at Elland Road.
It is reported by The Mirror that Alex Mowatt has emerged as a target for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and Kopites may now begin to show an interest in the goings on at Leeds.
The Yorkshire these days are forced to cling-on to their few bright sparks while their hiatus from the top flight continues and this season they have reason to be optimistic about their youngsters.
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The likes of Sam Byram, 21, and Lewis Cook, 18, have become fully established members of the first team and represent a platform on which to build a future promotion charge – their rise is already receiving high praise.
However, at the moment, there is another youngster who has taken things to the next level and Mowatt is beginning to look like the real deal in a Leeds shirt.
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The 20-year-old central midfielder, who has one England under-19 cap to his name (a call-up to the under-21s beckons), has been the catalyst for his side's elevation from the perils of a relegation battle – a battle they looked firmly locked-into as recently as Christmas.
His four goals and constant string of high-profile performances since Valentines Day have helped steer Neil Redfearn’s men comfortably away from the bottom three in the second-flight. It was unlikely to be long before the nation’s big-boys stuck their noses in, and it looks as though Liverpool have taken the initiative.
Brendan Rodgers will no doubt be hunting Europe high and wide for a replacement for Liverpool’s departing captain and legend, Steven Gerrard, and could they have found the answer?
Anfield scouts are reported to have been tasked with monitoring Mowatt’s progress and credentials for Premier League and potentially Champions League football as they look to end the season on a high by finishing in the top four again.
What they will have noticed is a player with incredible work rate and desire to impress, as well as his recent knack for an important, usually stunning goal – he has emerged as something of a free-kick specialist – exactly the attributes that led to Gerrard having the career he has enjoyed.
Whether Leeds would be willing to sell is another matter. In the past the club have let their youngsters move on and it hasn’t helped them realise their ambitions of Premier League football.
Owner Massimo Cellino, if he is still in charge, would be at risk of setting a dangerous precedent for the future if he allows Mowatt to leave.
Who do you think Liverpool will sign to replace Steven Gerrard?