Leeds United have announced Mallik Wilks has joined Barnsley for an undisclosed fee. The Leeds born winger didn’t feature for the U23s last season but instead was out on loan at Doncaster Rovers plying his trade in League One impressing with 55 appearances and 16 goals and 12 assists to his name. Wilks had featured as a substitute for Leeds before under Garry Monk but never got to make his league debut for the Whites. Handed a contract extension until 2022 in January at the age of 20 this summer was make or break for Wilks.
Despite having had plenty of first team experience for Doncaster last season and starting pre-season with the first team Marcelo Bielsa has deemed surplus to requirements, with Harrison, Alioski, Clarke and Costa all in competition for the wing positions it would have been difficult for Wilks to make an impact. Leeds were perhaps also mindful of the impact his trial over alleged violent offences next year could have had. Commenting on the move on Twitter Wilks said…
Would like to thank everyone at Leeds United for the past 6 years at the club, all the staff with my progression and the players I got to play with. Sometimes things are just out of your control in football I felt I deserved a chance to prove myself after last season but that's football for you. On a positive note would like to wish all the fans and the club all the best in the future.
Wilks is the third of the older development squad moved out by Leeds already this summer following the departures of Hugo Diaz and Aapo Halme. Leeds have already strengthened their development sides with several signings this summer and there are great young players such as Jordan Stevens ready to step up. Stevens is a creative winger, who can play either side, with a good eye for a pass. Quick and direct with a great work rate he should fit into the Bielsa system.
Lewie Coyle has also re-joined League One side Fleetwood Town on a six month loan deal until January 2020. The 23-year-old defender has spent the last two seasons on loan Fleetwood and is now set for a third spell on the Fylde Coast.