Here at the Footy Gang, we have enjoyed writing about the top 10 footballers born in Sheffield, the top 10 footballers born in Birmingham as well as the top 10 footballers born in Stockport. In this article, we will be looking at the Top 10 footballers born in Leeds.
The first Leeds born footballer that we will be discussing is Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland. Erling Haaland, 20, is one of the highest-rated youngsters within world football and despite being capped 7 times by Norway, scoring 6 goals in the process, the powerful striker was actually born in Leeds, England.
Erling Haaland was born in July 2000, his father Alf-Inge Haaland was playing for Leeds United at the time. Alf-Inge Haaland appeared 74 times for Leeds, before joining Premier League rivals Manchester City. Alf-Inge Haaland's career was cut short due to an injury, due to a tackle from former Manchester United captain Roy Keane which left the Norwegian with long term knee damage. After Alf-Inge Haaland was forced to retire, the Haaland family moved back to Norway.
Erling Haaland started his career at Norwegian side Bryne Fotballklubb before moving to Molde under current Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær. In 2018, Haaland joined Austrian side Red Bull Salzberg, scoring 17 goals in 16 games before moving to Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund. At the time of writing, Haaland has scored 32 goals in 34 for Dortmund. Haaland is widely regarded as one of the hottest prospects in world football.
Image credit: TalkSport
England international Kalvin Phillips joined the Leeds United academy at the age of 14 and has spent 11 years at the club. Under current Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa, Kalvin Phillips has taken his game to a new level, helping Leeds United to promotion into the Premier League in the 2019/20 season for the first time since their relegation in the 2003/04 season.
Phillips made his international debut for England against Denmark in the UEFA Nations League. With the Euro 2021 Championships on the horizon, Phillips will be hoping to be included in Gareth Southgate's England squad.
Image credit: Cheshire Live
Oli McBurnie, 24, started his career at Leeds United before being released at the age of 14. McBurnie went on to join fellow Yorkshire based side Bradford City, progressing through their youth system and breaking his way into the first team. Despite being a first-team squad member, McBurnie was unable to break into the Bradford starting 11 and spent two separate loan spells on loan at Chester. It was at the Deva Stadium where McBurnie began to shine, scoring 5 goals in 10 appearances.
After the Leeds' born youngster's impressive form for Chester, McBurnie joined Premier League side Swansea City. After loan spells at Newport County, Bristol Rovers and Barnsley, McBurnie forced his way into the first-team reckoning at Swansea. McBurnie went on to make 58 appearances for Swansea, scoring 22 goals before joining Premier League side Sheffield United for a record fee of £20 million.
At the time of writing, McBurnie has scored 7 goals in 57 appearances for Chris Wilder's Sheffield United. Despite being born in Leeds, McBurnie is a Scotland international.
Image credit: Football365
Lewis Cook was born in 1997 and is currently plying his trade for English Championship side Bournemouth. Cook progressed through the Leeds United academy, making his debut for the Leeds United under 18 side at the age of 15.
Cook managed to break into the first team at the age of 17, making 80 appearances for Leeds United before moving to then-Premier League side Bournemouth for a fee of £7 million. Cook has been likened to Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric by his former Bournemouth teammate Jermain Defoe.
Image credit: Leeds Live
Jamie Shackleton, 21, progressed through the Leeds United academy and is a current member of Marcelo Bielsa's Premier League squad.
Jamie Shackleton joined Leeds United at the age of 7, progressing through the youth team and made his debut against Derby County in August 2018. Shackleton can play at either right-back or central midfield and is expected to have a bright future within the game.
Current Premier League champion and Liverpool utility man James Milner started his career at Leeds United, progressing through the youth team and going on to make 48 appearances for the Yorkshire based side.
With James Milner's goal for Leeds against Sunderland in 2002, Milner became the youngest ever player to score in the Premier League at the tender age of 16 years and 356 days. After leaving Leeds, Milner has gone to appear for Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool. Milner, now 35, has won the Premier League twice for Manchester City and once for Liverpool.
Before his retirement from international football, Milner made 61 appearances for England, scoring the solitary goal.
Image Credit: Hull Daily Mail
Mallik Wilks, 22, progressed through Leeds United youth academy but failed to make a first-team appearance for the club. After loan spells at Accrington Stanley, Grimsby Town and Doncaster Rovers, Wilks left Leeds United to join Barnsley for an undisclosed fee in 2019.
Wilks struggled for goals at Barnsley and spent a loan spell at Hull City, where the Leeds born striker managed 4 goals in 12 appearances. After Hull City's relegation from The Championship, Mallik Wilks' loan spell was made permanent.
At the time of writing, Mallik Wilks has scored 18 goals in 39 appearances for Grant McCann's League One side. Despite a difficult start to his footballing career, Hull manager Grant McCann has predicted Wilks to play in the Premier League at some point in his career.
Image credit: LFE
Matt Crooks, 27, was born in Leeds in 1994 and started his career at Leeds United's bitter rivals Manchester United. After being released by Manchester United, Crooks joined Huddersfield Town.
Crooks only managed one appearance for Huddersfield after progressing through the youth system, spending multiple loan spells away from the club. In 2015, Matt Crooks left Huddersfield Town to join League Two side, Accrington Stanley. Crooks impressed for Accrington, gaining many suitors from clubs higher up the footballing pyramid and got a dream move to SPL giants Rangers, a move which took himself and Josh Windass to Scotland.
Unfortunately for Crooks, he failed to break into the Rangers first-team picture, only managing two appearances for the club before joining League One side Northampton Town. After a successful stint at Northampton, then Championship side Rotherham United swooped for the talented midfielder.
Image credit: Birmingham Mail
Andre Wisdom, 27, started his career at Bradford City before joining Premier League giants Liverpool. Wisdom as a youngster was highly tipped to become one of the best defenders in England however, the no-nonsense defender has somewhat failed to live up to his potential.
Since joining Derby County in 2017, Wisdom has gone on to make 84 appearances for the club, now managed by Manchester United and England Wayne Rooney. Shockingly, Andre Wisdom was stabbed in the leg in 2020, thankfully suffering no life-threatening injuries.
Image credit: Express
Leeds born defender Jack Hunt currently plies his trade for Championship side Bristol City. Hunt started his career at Huddersfield Town, progressing through the youth team. At the age of 22 and after 104 appearances for Huddersfield, Hunt joined Premier League side Crystal Palace.
Hunt spent three years at Crystal Palace however never managed to make a first-team appearance for the side. After multiple loan spells away from the club, in 2015, Hunt joined Sheffield Wednesday on a permanent deal.
After a successful stint at Sheffield Wednesday, fellow Championship side Bristol City swopped to sign the talented right back. Now, 30, Jack Hunt will be hoping he will still have a chance at playing Premier League football.
We hope you enjoyed this article. Are there any Leeds born player's that we have missed? Do you agree with our list of the best Leeds born footballers? If so, get in touch at our Twitter over at @TheFootyGang.