By Sam Stone

14th Sep, 2022 | 6:58pm

View: Charlie Cresswell playing his way into Leeds United first team contention while on loan at Millwall

Leeds United youngster Charlie Cresswell is playing his way into first-team contention after a magic start to life on loan at Millwall in the Championship.

The right-sided central defender has not only been imperious defensively, but he has also been an attacking threat for the Lions in the early part of the season.

Cresswell already has three goals and one assist for Gary Rowett’s side in what is proving to be an excellent loan move for both Millwall and Leeds.

The goals may well be flowing for Cresswell, but he proved to be assured and composed defensively in what is his first loan spell away from Elland Road.

As per Wyscout, Cresswell ranks third in the Championship for defensive duels per 90 minutes (10.17). This shows that despite still being young and new to first-team football, he is not afraid to assert his dominance physically on his opponents.

With younger players, there is always a concern that they won’t adapt to the physical side of the game, particularly in the EFL where the ball can sometimes spend a lot of time in the air.

However, Cresswell has displayed the basics well for Rowett’s side with the Leeds loanee ranking 18th in the whole division for aerial duels per 90 minutes, with a success rate of 62 per cent, which puts him in the top 30 in the Championship.

In Millwall’s latest Championship victory over Cardiff, the central defender recorded a 100 per cent aerial duel success rate.

With Jesse Marsch’s defensive options certainly ageing, utilising Cresswell in the near future could be a route the American goes down. He’s a strong and aggressive defender who could well be an excellent fit for Leeds and Marsch’s style of play.

In other Leeds United news, Leeds United were wrong to let Liam McCarron go.