Nohan Kenneh, Leeds United’s bright young thing
25 Jul 2019 07:19am, by YorkshireSquare
The pool of great players in Leeds United’s U23 side is unquestioned, but perhaps the biggest gem of them all is currently playing for the U18s, 16 year old Nohan Kenneh. Most Leeds United fans will not have heard of Kenneh before his 15 minute cameo against Guiseley but from the minute the 16 year old stepped onto the pitch he looked assured and composed. Kenneh has already represented England at U16 level and there have been rumours European giants Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing him up as they look to strengthen their youth setup.
Born in Zwedru City Liberia, Kenneh lived with his auntie and uncle before moving to England at the age of 7 with the dream of becoming a professional footballer, he had always been fascinated by the beautiful game called football. Living in Liberia as a young boy Kenneh used to play on the streets with his friends, it’s the dream of every single child in the part of the world to become a professional footballer, they would miss lunches and dinners and would come home late and get in a lot of trouble, all for the love of the game.
Kenneh started his football in England with Shadwell Utd, champions of their year group he was top scorer during his two seasons there and his performances attracted the attention of Bradford Academy. School commitments and the travel time hampered his chances of continuing for Bradford and so he moved to the York City West Yorkshire Development Centre in Leeds, fellow Leeds player Ryan Edmondson also came to Leeds via this route. His manager soon realised his potential and secured him a place on a Leeds United trial, singing for Leeds in August 2014.
Kenneh made an impressive cameo against Guiseley, video from @FocusOnLeeds
One of Kenneh’s most memorable times with Leeds so far was the 2015 Galway Cup. The team won the cup and Kenneh was received the most valuable player of the tournament award. Impressive performances for the Leeds United U18s side lead to an England U15s call up, his first cap for England coming against Holland at St George's Park with an U16 call up to come in 2018 in victories against Scotland and Turkey. A proud moment for Kenneh and his family, the move to England to follow his dream vindicated.
A defender or deep laying midfielder by trade, but with an eye for goal too, Kenneh’s hero is Patrick Vieira. The Frenchman captured Kenneh’s admiration with his electrifying displays, the way he played and the precision with which he passed the ball. It’s clear from watching Kenneh play he has modelled his style on Vieira and they are not dissimilar
Kenneh signed a two year scholarship with Leeds earlier this year, but it would not be a surprise to see him break through to the U23s this season. Still only 16 he is a tall and powerful player who didn’t look out of depth against the grown men of Guiseley, who were certainly a more physical side than York the previous evening. With the links to PSG Kenneh has been described as "one of the greatest talents of his generation", a big label to live up to but it will be fun watching him develop at Leeds over the coming seasons.