YouTuber Conor McGilligan has revealed just how highly Leeds United youngster Sonny Perkins was regarded at his former club.
The 18-year-old has caught the eye recently with some impressive appearances at youth level – notably scoring a hat trick in a 6-0 win over Georgia for the England U19 side – and looks to be a top talent.
He only joined Leeds over the summer for free, signing a three-year deal with the club after seeing his contract with West Ham United expire, and it seems as though he was rated as one of the Hammers’ top talents before he left.
Indeed, while talking on the One Leeds Fan Channel on Monday, McGilligan explained that before he left, Perkins was internally viewed as somebody on the same level as Declan Rice, who is now club captain.
He said: “They have picked up a gem, in my opinion.
“Before I did this video, I spoke to [someone] last night, spoke to him earlier on this morning, and it was about Sonny Perkins.
“Now, when he first came in, I spoke to the same individual, who is quite close to things going on at West Ham. And he was saying that in terms of productivity, in terms of the calibre of the lad, in terms of impact, he was on the same level as Declan Rice.
“That is what the academy-level people at West Ham United were expecting when it came to Sonny Perkins coming through.”
TIF thoughts on Sonny Perkins and Leeds United…
When Perkins left West Ham, the club sent out a strongly worded statement saying they were ‘extremely disappointed’ with the situation. That sort of response to a teenager leaving goes some way to back up McGilligan’s claim over just how highly rated the player was.
Since leaving the Hammers, the 18-year-old has gone from strength to strength at his new club. Indeed, so far at Leeds, he has played five games in the Premier League 2 and has scored six goals in that time.
In fact, he has been so impressive, rumours have already begun to suggest that Jesse Marsch is set to hand the Englishman his senior debut in the near future.
Perkins certainly looks like a star in the making – no wonder West Ham were so upset to see him go.