George Elokobi backing ex-Leyton Orient forward Sam Dalby to eventually progress into Leeds United's first-team
PUBLISHED: 16:00 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:00 08 March 2018
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The teen has impressed since moving to Elland Road to play for Carlos Corberan's under-23s and one of his old team-mates is confident he'll succeed at Leeds
It is just over six weeks since Sam Dalby completed his move to Leeds United from Leyton Orient and one of his former O’s team-mates expects him to eventually force his way into the first-team of the Championship club.
There were mixed emotions for the Brisbane Road faithful on January 23 when the 18-year-old officially signed for the Whites.
Dalby’s talent was clear from his memorable debut appearance against Crawley Town on Boxing Day 2016, but his limited appearances during the current campaign caused a lot of frustration for the Orient supporters, especially when he left the O’s suddenly.
George Elokobi only spent half a season with the young forward, but having worked with him regularly at the club’s Chigwell training venue, he’s confident the teen will be playing in the Leeds first-team sooner rather than later.
“Any young player who moves on after the club has given them the opportunity to go and excel with their blessing we want to do well,” said the 32-year-old, who played in the Premier League with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“We all hope we can see him play his football and develop and become one of the main guys at Leeds. It will be a pleasure for the Leyton Orient fans to see something like this, so I wish him all the best.
“Sam is a fantastic kid, always willing to listen and learn whenever he trained with the first-team. He is a very level-headed boy and I can only wish him the best.
“If he can keep learning from the top players and experienced players at Leeds then hopefully we will soon see him in their first-team.”
Dalby didn’t need long to make his mark at Elland Road with the forward scoring his first goal for the under-23s during a 2-2 draw with Birmingham City on February 2 after making his debut against Victor Adeboyejo’s Barnsley on January 26.
The ex-Orient academy graduate then started his first under-23 game against Sheffield United on February 19 and again made an impact by scoring the opener in a 1-1 draw.
He was back on the bench for the clash with Sheffield Wednesday on February 23, but made another cameo before the Professional Development League North took a break for two weeks.
Carlos Corberan’s team return this Saturday with an away clash at Hull City and Dalby will hope to be involved again.
Elokobi believes the youngster will need time to adjust to life at Thorp Arch, despite his fine start at Leeds, and is excited to see how he progresses having been developed by the likes of Andy Edwards and Danny Webb at Orient.
He added: “We need to give every youngster who moves onto a big club time to develop and now it is time for him to progress under other coaches.
“Sam has developed well under ‘Webby’ and now it is time for him to move on and learn from others, so hopefully he learns and gets himself into the Leeds first-team.”