Leeds manager Steve Evans is confident Lewis Cook will reject a move to the Premier League this summer and remain at Elland Road.
The 19-year-old was the subject of interest from Bournemouth in January and Cherries boss Eddie Howe was at Elland Road on Tuesday night to watch the midfielder drive Leeds to a 2-1 win over Wolves. The likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Stoke and Newcastle have also been credited with an interest in the player in the past.
Cook’s performance came just two days after he picked up the Football League young player of the year award and Leeds are expecting offers for the £10million-rated teenager in the next transfer window.
But Evans believes Cook will still be at Elland Road when the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship season begins.
“I thought he was absolutely stunning in the second half,” said Leeds head coach Evans.
“It was as good a midfield performance as you could wish to see.
“I heard Lewis say that he wants to stay and get to the Premier League with Leeds United. Why would you want to go to any club that can’t give you what Leeds United can give you?
“This is the club that this boy grew up in love with and it can’t get any better for him.
“I love working every day with somebody as talented as him. I’m very blessed as a head coach to be able to turn up at Thorp Arch and see Lewis Cook in the building.
“I know what it means to him playing here. This is the most gracious young man you could wish to meet – he gets player of the year and he’s in my office almost in tears thanking me for the improvement we’ve given him in six months.
“He’s grown up supporting a special club. If people were sitting tomorrow to pick teams to be in the Premier League – which doesn’t happen because you earn it on the pitch – but if they did Leeds would be the fourth or fifth pick.”
Evans on win over Wolves
While Cook and striker Chris Wood were Leeds’ stand-out players against Wolves, it took a stunning Sol Bamba strike to break the deadlock before Toumani Diagouraga scored the goal that gave United their third successive victory.
The Whites travel to promotion-hopefuls in their next match on Saturday and are big outsiders to collect a fourth successive win.
Speaking about Tuesday’s win over Wolves, Evans continued: “I thought the second half was quite stunning.
“This is a Wolves team that are very well organised under a top manager. They don’t concede chances let alone goals, yet if we’d scored seven in the second half it might have been deserved.
“But Leeds being Leeds we concede late and have to rely on a big save from our goalkeeper (Marco Silvestri), the one thing he’s possibly had to do all evening.
“I’m delighted. It’s three good wins against quality clubs.”