Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn has asked England to “look after” Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt and show a “duty of care” when the midfielders report for international duty next week.
Redfearn revealed that he had contacted Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate to discuss England’s plans for Cook and Mowatt after both players were called up for youth-team fixtures.
Mowatt is part of the England Under-20 squad named for friendlies against Mexico and the USA and Cook will travel with the Under-19s for three European qualifiers against France, Denmark and Azerbaijan.
Redfearn said he expected Cook “not to play in all of the games” with the 18-year-old in the closing stages of his first season as a professional at Elland Road.
Cook has played 37 times for Leeds since the Championship term began in August and he will link up with England on the back of three league outings in eight days. He is expected to start for United away at Blackpool today.
Twenty-year-old Mowatt has also been a regular in Redfearn’s team, making 29 starts.
“I spoke to Gareth Southgate about Lewis and Alex,” Redfearn said. “From my point of view and the club’s point of view, I just asked that they just look after them. I’m sure they will.
“They’ve played a lot, particularly Lewis. In his age group there won’t be many players who’ll have played Championship football week in, week out like he has. He’s been a main player for us.
“Ideally, Lewis will play in some of the (England) games or play a part in some.
“I’d expect him not to play in all of them.
“If there’s that duty of care and respect for what we’ve asked then they’ll respect that – and they have done in the past.”