Leeds players looked shocked when Charlie Cresswell was handed debut
Leeds United academy graduate Charlie Cresswell made his Premier League debut against West Ham United last month, but it was unexpected.
The 19-year-old defender was set to be on the bench for the game days after making his official senior-team debut in the League Cup against Fulham, but he was told 50 minutes before the clash that he would be starting after Luke Ayling’s knee injury flared up.
Cresswell has revealed to The Athletic that “The other lads in the changing room looked shocked” when fitness coach, Benoit Delaval, appeared in the substitutes’ dressing room to tell him he had been promoted to the starting XI.
Absolutely no one was certain that Cresswell would be thrown into action for the clash as Leeds were still looking for their first Premier League victory of the campaign at the time.
The under-23s star impressed, though, going toe-to-toe with Michail Antonio and putting in a top shift despite the eventual 2-1 loss.
The Whites defender completed most passes (54), had the most touches (80), made most passes in the opposition half (24) and recorded the joint-most clearances (three).
Charlie Cresswell on his Premier League debut vs. West Ham:
80 touches 🥇
71 total passes 🥇
54 succ. passes 🥇
24 opp half passes 🥇
3 aerial duels won
2 headed clearances
2 ball recoveries
1 blocked shot
1 tackle won
Excellent against Antonio. 👊 pic.twitter.com/3jVuO4nCLV
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) September 25, 2021
It was a colossal performance as far as top-flight debuts go, and he will be looking to play more regularly for Marcelo Bielsa’s side going forward.
The Leeds head coach would have been very proud of Cresswell’s display, and he is not likely to hesitate to throw him into action once again if need be.
The youngster has not featured since then, but he has made the subsequent matchday squads and will be more than ready when next he steps onto the pitch.
In other Leeds United news, Whites owner Radrizzani has made a request after major £300m development at PL club.