Leeds United’s U23s enjoyed four pre-season outings this summer, in games against Guiseley, Fleetwood Town, Jong Ajax and Manchester City U23.
The junior Whites faced a varied calibre of opponent, recording two wins and two defeats over a two-week period.
Marcelo Bielsa was present for much of the U23s pre-season schedule, casting his eye over the young players looking to break through into his first-team in the years to come.
There was disappointment for great hope Joe Gelhardt, as well as Ian Poveda who has been on the first-team fringes, for vastly differing reasons.
Meanwhile, Dutch winger Crysencio Summerville appears to have staved off a loan move elsewhere – which usually spells the end for young players under Bielsa – with some stellar pre-season displays.
Mark Jackson’s men rounded off their preparation for the season with a resounding 4-0 win over Manchester City’s U23s, although many of the Cityzens’ key U23 players had been called up to Pep Guardiola’s Community Shield squad.
Here are LeedsLive’s ratings for each player who took part in the U23s’ pre-season calendar:
Dani van den Heuvel – 6
No noticeable drop-off in games compared to Elia Caprile.
Charlie Cresswell – 8
Strong and composed as per usual against Guiseley. Scored versus Fleetwood Town, before being withdrawn with concussion. Played no further part.
Liam McCarron – 7
Featured in first-team reckoning, even making an appearance against AFC Ajax. Seems to have played himself into contention as a back-up left-back; a role he is slowly growing into.
Cody Drameh – 9
Arguably the most consistent performer of the entire pre-season. Drameh will be pushing for matchday squad involvement with the first-team this season.
Jack Jenkins – 7
Nice display against Fleetwood from a defensive point of view, putting in the hard yards. Now has to work even harder to retain his place in the U23s’ starting line-up with the addition of Lewis Bate to contend with.
Nohan Kenneh – 6
A little shaky versus a match-honed Jong Ajax side, but plenty of minutes in the tank for Kenneh at centre-back. Now without Olly Casey to partner Cresswell, Kenneh could play an increasing role there.
Lewis Bate – 6
Yet to burst into life in a Leeds shirt as he gets accustomed to his new teammates and surroundings. 45 minutes against Fleetwood and a smattering of minutes against Manchester City’s U23s.
Stuart McKinstry – 6
Solid but unspectacular and still just 18 years old, despite playing a starring role at times last season. There are still high hopes for him in midfield at U23 level, and plenty of room to grow.
Sean McGurk – 7
Demonstrated his flighty, nimble best with a fine goal against Man City.
Amari Miller – 7
Another who found the net versus City to close out a promising first pre-season in Leeds colours. This strike in particular was the direct result of Miller pressing his opponent on the edge of the penalty area and recovering possession in a dangerous position.
Crysencio Summerville – 9
Summerville scored a penalty against Guiseley, before netting another at Thorp Arch during the visit of Manchester City. Appears to have come on leaps and bounds, even from his excellent best at U23 level last term. Question marks remain over his physicality, but his contributions will certainly have been logged by Bielsa.
Joe Gelhardt – 6
Took a knock versus Guiseley in the first friendly of the summer and has not featured since, much to the young striker’s dismay.
Sam Greenwood – 7
Aggressive, tenacious and creative from the No. 10 position. It seems as though this is the role Greenwood will continue in, should he progress through the ranks at Leeds. Scored an excellent free-kick in the opener against Guiseley and was briefly involved in first-team games at Blackburn and versus Real Betis.
Max Dean – 7
A real fighter, with good footwork; Dean scored Leeds’ only goal in their jaunt across to the Netherlands, a penalty spot consolation late in the day against Jong Ajax. The winning of the penalty was Dean’s own making, nutmegging his opponent and drawing the foul.
Elia Caprile – 6
Played a small number of minutes in goal before going on loan to Serie C side Pro Patria. Caprile has also signed a contract extension at Leeds.
Kris Moore – 6
A little out-of-sorts against Jong Ajax, but looked more assured at Fleetwood. At only 17, it has been a good learning experience for Moore. Exposure and endeavour aplenty.
Charlie Allen – 6
Nice assist over the top of Man City’s defence to set up Crysencio Summerville. Good vision.
Ian Poveda – 5
Perhaps could’ve and maybe should’ve set a few of these friendlies alight given his senior experience, but Poveda struggled to leave his imprint on games. Clearly talented, but now with Summerville breathing down his neck.
Joe Snowdon – 7
Only a brief run-out versus Man City, but Snowdon performed well against his former employers. Registered a quick-thinking, clipped assist in that game.
Adam Forshaw – 6
Valuable minutes in the tank across various games for Forshaw, but a few signs of rust which is more than understandable. It is likely the U23 side will accommodate Forshaw for the time being; there is more work to be done to prove his first-team candidacy once again.
Kristoffer Klaesson – 7
A clean sheet on his first outing as a Leeds United player.