'˜Huge potential' of Leeds United loan star Mallik Wilks lauded by Doncaster Rovers boss

DONCASTER ROVERS manager Grant McCann believes that loanee Mallik Wilks must be realistic over his prospects of becoming a first-team regular with hometown club Leeds United.

Richard Stearman of Sheffield Utd tackles Mallik Wilks of Doncaster Rovers.
Richard Stearman of Sheffield Utd tackles Mallik Wilks of Doncaster Rovers.

Wilks, 19, has enjoyed an outstanding start to his half-season loan, with Rovers having spoken to United representatives about the prospects of renewing his initial six-month loan deal, which expires on January 2.

McCann says that Leeds are likely to attempt to persuade Wilks, whose current deal expires in the summer, to first sign a contract extension before sanctioning another loan spell.

Another factor to consider for Wilks in his next decision is that a number of fellow academy players including Jamie Shackleton, Jack Clarke and Ryan Edmondson have been part of United’s match-day squads this season and are pushing for further involvement – with his own form likely to have gone unnoticed at Leeds.

But McCann believes that Wilks’s needs would be better served playing regular football in the immediate and longer-term –hopefully at Rovers.

On Wilks, McCann said: “My personal opinion is he will not ever get a chance at Leeds. I think that they will strengthen again in January and they are strong up there (in attack), with the boy Tyler Roberts. It is going to be difficult for Mallik.

“Him and his agent need to decide whether he wants to stay at Leeds and extend his contract or Mallik wants to go and sample the Football League.

“He loves it here. If it was my decision, I would sign him today as he has huge potential in him. But if he keeps going in the way he is, there are going to be clubs sniffing around him.”