MOT View: 'Fantastic' Leeds teen could have big future at Elland Road based on Corberan comments
Leeds United fans were allowed to feast their eyes on Oliver Casey for the first time last week when the teenager was handed his senior debut by Marcelo Bielsa.
Casey, 19, came off the bench for the final five minutes of the 2-0 win against Huddersfield on Saturday and although his time on the pitch was relatively short, the young defender certainly impressed.
According to stats by WhoScored, Casey managed to make two interceptions in his five-minute-long appearance. In comparison, Ben White only managed one in 90 minutes.
Casey also completed 100 per cent of his passes so even though it was his senior debut for Leeds, the youngster did not put a foot wrong as he helped see out an important clean sheet at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Unfortunately for Casey, he was not in the matchday squad on Tuesday night as Leeds won 2-0 against Hull City at Elland Road as Bielsa opted to hand another Under-23s defender, Pascal Struijk, his debut instead.
Phil Hay, writing via The Athletic website, has reported that Casey was slightly disappointed by not getting a second senior appearance against the Tigers, but comments by Under-23s boss Carlos Corberan have suggested that it is not going to be something that will phase the teenage centre-back.
“Olly’s a fantastic guy and a guy you enjoy coaching,” Corberan told The Athletic. “He’s very focused and he’s very clear about his target of being a football player — but with an open mind about receiving the information he needs.
“It’s important to have players who have enough ambition but at the same time are humble enough to build on the skills they’ve got. That’s how he is.”
We have seen a lot of youngsters over the years who have shown all the talent and promise in the world at a young age but eventually fail to reach their potential.
Most of the time, that boils down to their attitude and while it must have been frustrating for Casey to miss out on the squad that beat Hull, it is a really good indicator that this is a young player who is desperate to improve.
Liam Cooper’s injury has created an opening at centre-back for players like Casey and Struijk and while both are good young players, fans would no doubt much prefer to see Leeds-born Casey making the grade rather than the January 2018 signing from Ajax.
Leeds face Cardiff City at Elland Road on Saturday and ahead of that match, fans are bound to be keen to see who Bielsa picks out of the two teenage centre-backs.
Is he just rotating between them at the moment? Or is he trying to weigh up with one is better out of the two?
Based on their first outings for Leeds – although it was only for a matter of minutes – you would have to say that Casey is so far the one who looks as though he has the biggest future at the club.
In other Leeds United news, Jeff Stelling has one concern about Leeds despite seeing them go top of the table on Tuesday night.