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Leeds United trio handed big vote of confidence as international news emerges

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Leeds United’s under-23 trio Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood, and Charlie Cresswell have all been called up to the England under-19 squad after their impressive starts to the season.

In the summer, the Whites were promoted to the Premier League and along with it their academy was granted category one status, meaning the under-23s would be plying their trade amongst the country’s best in the Premier League 2.

With that upgrade, Leeds have looked to improve the standard of the youth squads with a number of shrewd additions. Joe Gelhardt, Cody Drameh, Charlie Allen, Sam Greenwood, Dani van den Heuvel, and Crysencio Summerville have all arrived this window to bolster the squad.

Marcelo Bielsa has a track record of blooding youth into the first-team and the progress being made in the academy is bearing fruit.

Last season saw Leeds’ under-18s go on an FA Youth Cup run, only to be ended by Manchester United’s stacked squad, but highlighted just how strong the academy was getting.

That momentum has clearly carried into this season with Charlie Cresswell stepping into the under-23s to link up with the talented fresh faces, as Greenwood and Gelhardt shine in the attack.

Greenwood netted a stunning hattrick against his former club, Sunderland, last week with Gelhardt linking up and showing what a dangerous force the pair could be for the future.

It seems that the aforementioned trio have made enough of an impression to stake a claim on the international stage, as they were named in the England under-19 squad for the upcoming double-header against Scotland:

Greenwood and Gelhardt are already showing their worth as youth signings and clearly have the potential to be first-team players in the not-too-distant future.

Cresswell too has impressed, as his leadership has been a key asset to each academy side he has featured for, and when he made his debut for the first team against Hull City last month, he didn’t do much wrong despite us losing on penalties.

It’s only been a few months since promotion was sealed but the club seems to have skyrocketed already from the foundations all the way to the first-team, and England youth call-ups are more proof of that.

While the EFL Trophy has received justifiably strong criticism for its inclusion of youth teams, it’s a great opportunity for these three to continue their development and transition into senior football.

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Leeds United season ticket holder since 2013/14, currently situated in the middle of the FA5 noise. From Pablo Hernandez to 5-1 drubbings, I've seen it all at Elland Road.