Midfield man tipped for Leeds superstardom as another injury blow is revealed

Date published: Wednesday 10th November 2021 3:45 - James Marshment

Marcelo Bielsa Leeds United

Motherwell academy manager Steven Hammell is backing young Leeds midfielder Stuart McKinstry  to rise to the top – and has named three reasons why the star is destined to make it big.

The teenage midfielder made his senior first-team debut in the Carabao Cup tie at Fulham. He’s one of several in a long line of talented young stars to earn the breakthrough under Marcelo Bielsa this season alone. Indeed, Joe Gelhardt, Cody Drameh and Charlie Cresswell have all been afforded chances in recent weeks.

As a result of his progress, McKinstry has been called into the Scotland Under-21s squad. It’s the next step in his development that could well lead to big things.

And Hammell – the man who oversaw his early development at Fir Park – reckons Leeds have something special in McKinstry.

Speaking on the Lanarkshire Live Sport Podcast, via the Daily Record, Hammell said: “There’s no right or wrong scenario. It is difficult but Stuart McKinstry is a fabulous young player.

“He has the right attitude and temperament. He’s surrounded by a lovely family who are very supportive of him.

“If a team in England come and offer anything you want as a young player, then of course it’s difficult to say no. All we can do is progress what we have here and sell our story.

“I’m sure Stuart will do wonderful things and become a household name in the next three or four years – but I don’t want to put too much pressure on the young man! He’ll do well because of his attitude.”

Hammell admits that persuading young stars to stay at Motherwell and ignore the bright lights elsewhere is becoming increasingly more challenging.

However, he hopes a route into the Well first team can persuade more young talents to stay.

“It’s the nature of the game. If you have talented players at any level of the game, other clubs are going to want to come and take them off you.

“Brexit has made that even more difficult. Where English clubs would go to Scandinavia or Europe for players, they can’t do that now.

“Their first port of call is here. It’s brought challenges. At the start of every week you have a list full of requests asking to come to lots of different games.”

Leeds suffer Joe Gelhardt blow

Gelhardt, meanwhile, has been forced to withdraw from the England Under-20s squad for the upcoming match with Portugal.

The forward was named Andy Edwards’ squad alongside club teammates Sam Greenwood, Lewis Bate and Cody Drameh.

The latter has since been promoted to the England U21s, but it’s not such good news for Gelhardt, who now returns to Thorp Arch for treatment.


He was absent from the matchday squad that drew 1-1 with Leicester on Sunday, having picked up a knock playing for Leeds U23s at Salford.

The 19-year-old will now undergo physiotherapy under the watchful eye of Rob Price and his team of medics. And he’ll hope to recover in time for Leeds’ next match, away at Tottenham, on Sunday November 21.

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