Lennon Could Beat All Records

Last updated : 14 August 2003 By Kevin Markey
The England youth international impressed Peter Reid enough during the Dublin Tournament last weekend and the Leeds United boss believes he is another one set for a big future.

Lennon showed great pace in the 2-2 draw against Aston Villa and Reid will be tracking his progress.

Reid said: "This pre-season we haven't had it in the side where someone's gone past people, but Aaron Lennon has shown that he can do that.

"It might be a big bonus for us that we can use him in a cameo role, because against Villa he went past Jlloyd Samuel, who is rapid.

"You have to be careful with young players because the Premiership is very physical, but we can use him when games stretch out in the last 15-20 minutes."

Lennon could also become the youngest Premier League scorer should he find the back of the net against Newcastle on the opening day, breaking the previous record by team-mate James Milner by a whopping 234 days.

Lennon is one year and 82 days younger than Milner, who himself set the Premiership alight with his goalscoring feats last season, and will be 16 years and 12 days old against the Magpies.

Reid has already hinted that he will use Milner in a similar fashion this term.

The 17-year-old, the youngest- ever Premiership goal scorer, is another player Reid is keen to keep up his sleeve as a secret weapon, despite other clubs already being aware of his threat.

The Horsforth-born star showed his quality last season by bagging superb goals against Sunderland and Chelsea and United fans want to see more from him this time around.

"James will get better," insisted Reid. "We're looking to nurture the young players, but circumstances mean we sometimes have to throw them in.

"Overall we've got 15 or 16 strong players and if we get injuries we're in trouble because the young lads should be playing cameo roles.

"The young lads have done well in pre-season and they've played their part. It's a case of bringing them in gradually."

Reid says he wants to give his young players a chance and Scottish midfielder Martin Woods also gained some experience in Dublin by playing a bit-part role.

Matthew Kilgallon has also played a key role in pre-season while midfielder Paul Keegan is another one on the periphery.