Sheffield Wednesday: Owls star tipped for big future

Owls defender Tom Lees
Owls defender Tom Lees

Owls defender Tom Lees has been backed to reach the top ahead of today’s Yorkshire derby against his former employers Leeds United.

Lees has sparkled since joining the South Yorkshire club for an undisclosed fee last summer, starting 46 times and playing a key part in the Owls recording 19 clean sheets in all competitions.

The 24-year-old, who progressed through Leeds’ youth system, has already faced the Whites once this season, helping Wednesday secure a 1-1 draw at Elland Road last October.

Owls number one Keiren Westwood told The Star: “I am guessing Tom is looking forward to it.

“He had a great game at Elland Road at the start of the season, and I am not expecting anything different from Tom. He will know what to expect from Leeds fans.

“Tom has had a great season. He has been a good solid player for us throughout the whole campaign.

“He’s only young, so still has plenty of room to improve. He can play anywhere across the back four and is comfortable on the ball.

“I don’t see why he can’t go on (to play in Premier League). Everyone just needs that opportunity and if he gets it, I don’t think he will let anyone down.”

When Wednesday last entertained Leeds, the Owls claimed a comprehensive 6-0 victory but Westwood, who has shrugged off a calf problem which sidelined him versus Bournemouth, believes that result will have no bearing on today’s derby.

Westwood, voted the club’s player of the year by the fans last night, said: “You can’t look at past games, everything is different now, new teams and squad - Leeds have a new team too.

“This is a new game. Everyone spoke about the 6-0 game at the start of the season, when we drew 1-1 (at Elland Road). It’s irrelevant now, it’s been and gone. We just have to get a win (on Saturday) and go out on a high at Hillsborough.

“Leeds are a good side, it’s a local derby, intense and the atmosphere is going to be great.”

With two matches remaining, Wednesday lie in 12th position.

“The season has gone quite well, I have enjoyed it,” said Westwood. “It has been a positive season for the club in general.

“We have worked really hard as a team, we have over-achieved, I don’t think anyone can say any different.

“Now with the backing of the new owners, you never know where things can go.”

Owls Under-21s were held to a goalless draw against Millwall yesterday.

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