Full-back becomes the latest Academy prospect to put pen to paper at Elland Road…
Young defender Michael Taylor has agreed his first professional contract with the club after completing his two-year Leeds United Academy scholarship.
The 18-year-old, a right-back who captained our Under-18s for large parts of last season, put pen to paper on a one-year deal at Elland Road.
Taylor, who arrived at the club from Everton two years ago alongside fellow United youngster Tom Pearce, featured 25 times for the Under-18s during 2015/16 and started three times for the Under-21s during the closing weeks of the campaign.
The full-back becomes the fourth youngster to turn professional this summer after progressing through the ranks at Thorp Arch, following on from team-mates Ronaldo Vieira, Pearce and Jack Vann.
“It’s a big achievement for me,” Taylor told leedsunited.com. “I’ve been wanting to get to this stage since I started playing football at an early age. I’m really happy for my professional career to start now.
“I’ve had some ups and downs but my time at the Academy has been great so far.
“It’s a very good club to be at for young players – you only have to look at the squad that we’ve got.
“My target now is to have an injury-free season and play week-in, week-out for the Under-21s. My big aim then is to get close to the first team.”
As Taylor started to think about the last campaign – the final year of his scholarship - he suffered a major setback which he feared could have hampered his chances of landing the professional contract he had been working so hard for.
“Towards the end of the season (2014/15), I broke my neck,” he explained. “I was a bit down and a bit scared about what was going to happen.
“Luckily, it healed quite quickly and I got back into the swing of things and pushed on from there.
“I got the neck brace off towards the end of the off-season in time for pre-season and I pushed on from there.
“To get a professional contract was the aim last season and now I want to push on further.”
Asked about his style of play, Taylor added: “It’s a mix of an old-fashioned full-back who likes to get stuck in, with a modern twist of getting forward.
“I do like to get forward when I can and attack down the right.”