The kids are United: Leeds will fight to retain new stars

NEIL REDFEARN has stressed the importance of keeping hold of his Leeds United kids – and has labelled them as good as any crop in England.

Alex Mowatt with Lewis Cook and Sam Byram

Young guns Alex Mowatt, Lewis Cook, Sam Byram and Charlie Taylor have all excelled in the Whites’ vibrant new year renaissance, with only the automatic promotion chasing Championship duo of Norwich City and Watford have taken more points this year.

Other talents are waiting in the wings, including Kalvin Phillips, on the bench in Saturday’s win at Wigan.

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That victory saw Mowatt hit his fourth goal in his past six outings, having struck the only goal of the game in the recent victories over the Latics, Middlesbrough and Millwall.

His form is reportedly alerting several top-flight clubs, with West Ham the latest linked with a possible move.

Redfearn said: “Clubs want good players, end of. Our young players are probably as good as you are going to get anywhere in the country.

“You want to keep your best young players because this is the foundation of your planning.

“If we’re going to be successful again, it’s always going to be built around your youth. They have had a great season and they have got a season of Championship experience. That’s vital.

“They are going to be big assets.”

He added: “I think they have all can be as influential as each other. I look at Charlie Taylor apparently playing out of position on the left.

“He looks like a seasoned left winger. He’s got great touch and awareness.

“We missed Sam on Saturday and we’ve got a list of injuries, but the togetherness and the will to win is there to see – and it’s been there for the last two months. There’s a will to do well.

“I had Kalvin on the bench (at Wigan) and it wouldn’t have bothered me one bit if I had to bring him on.

“He’s more than capable. We’ve got two or three more who could come in.”