Head coach Neil Redfearn hailed the importance of Lewis Cook to his side after another impressive display from the 17-year-old midfielder.
Cook has been a regular fixture in a youthful-looking United midfield ever since Redfearn handed him a first Championship start in August’s home win over Bolton.
The Academy product, who now has 21 first-team appearances to his name, stood out again during Saturday’s 1-1 draw away to Nottingham Forest.
"Lewis Cook, 17-years-old, he was the best player on the pitch by a mile," said Redfearn. "There were some good signs for us on Saturday.
"He’s one of ours and he wants to play for Leeds United, that’s all he’s known.
"He’s a massive influence on us and how we play. Even at the tender age of 17, there’s a maturity about him.
"He’s got this strength in character and he’s getting better and better."
Redfearn was also full of praise for goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, who pulled off a number of fine stops to help secure the point.
"Some of his saves were out of the top drawer," said the head coach. "The shot from Michail Antonio that was curling in and he got right across – how he got to it I don’t know.
"They’re young guys and they’re outstanding young talents."
The game at the City Ground saw goalscorer Billy Sharp make his first start for the club since September, while the likes of Steve Morison and Michael Tonge were introduced off the bench after finding themselves limited to appearances in recent weeks.
"I said to the boys right from the off, ‘we’ve got a big squad and everybody’s involved’, Redfearn explained.
"Sometimes the lads that are out of the picture find it difficult to take on board but they are. Steve Morison came in and did a good job for us.
"Sharpy came in and did a good job for us; Tongey came off the bench and did a good job for us.
"These are players that we’ve got to use and make sure that we get the benefit of them."