This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

Time isn’t necessarily running out for him, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t start thinking about his future.

Given the current log-jam that is in front of 18-year-old Liam McCarron, with the likes of Pablo Hernandez, Jack Harrison and Helder Costa all having more seniority than him, it’s unlikely that he’s going to get a lot of game time at Elland Road this season, especially if he isn’t playing regularly for the U23s either.

Even Eddie Nketiah has dabbled with time on the wing as well, so that could make his chances even harder.

However, with Harrison and Nketiah’s loans, and Pablo Hernandez’s contract all expiring at the end of the season, competition going into the 2020/21 season is set to be a little sparser.

But there’s only so much he can be doing as part of the club’s U23s.

There needs to be a point where he can prove that he can cut it against senior sides as well.

Given that his contract runs out in 2022, he still has some time to show that he can have a career at Elland Road, but there may be a chance to help his career if he takes a little detour.

This is why he needs to be banging on Marcelo Bielsa’s door at the next opportunity and demanding to be sent out on loan, to put him in the best position to compete for one of the spots that will be available next season.

Whilst he is only 18, that hasn’t stopped Bielsa putting faith in young players before, in fact that’s how Jack Clarke managed to get his move to Spurs, by impressing off the back of his 25 appearances in the team last season.

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Meanwhile, 20-year-old Jamie Shackleton has started to make inroads into the squad this campaign too, so it’s not as if he has to wait forever to get his chance if he can make something of it.

The youngster has already played 16 times at senior level in League Two so is clearly ready for more exposure but that doesn’t look likely at Leeds in 2019/20, especially if hat-trick scorer from pre-season, Ryan Edmondson, can’t even get a chance.

Is Jack Clarke’s loan spell pointless?

Yes

Yes

No

No

McCarron needs to give himself the best opportunity to make something happen, and that’s not going to come if he continues to just ride things out with the U23 team.

He needs to be brave and start asking for chances, rather than waiting for them to happen.


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Matthew Baldwin