The Huddersfield Town talent running out of time to make an impact
(Photo by William Early/Getty Images)

In recent years a handful of exciting young players have made their first-team breakthroughs with Huddersfield Town, including the likes of Lewis O'Brien, Ryan Schofield and Rarmarni Edmonds-Green.

But perhaps the player most expected to make the cut with the Terriers over the last couple of years was the talented young midfielder Matty Daly, who now faces the threat of being left behind.

When Daly made his debut for Huddersfield towards the end of their most recent stint in the Premier League at just 18 years old back in 2019, many expected the Lancashire born prospect to sparkle upon the Terriers’ return to the Championship the following season.

They wasn’t the case, although there was a young midfielder who established themselves in the team that year in Lewis O'Brien, who has since become a main part of the Huddersfield midfield, becoming a fan favourite in the process.

O'Brien has gone on to make 80 league appearances over the last two seasons, while Daly hasn't even reached 10 and is now under threat from the next wave of young midfielders coming through the ranks in West Yorkshire, which is being led by young French talent Brahima Diarra.

So with this in mind, it's clear that Daly is running out of time to make his break into the first team at the John Smith's Stadium and next season could well be make or break for him in West Yorkshire.

What he has to do

A position of particular strength for Carlos Corberan's side, Daly was overlooked by a handful of midfielders last season but will have undoubtedly climbed up the pecking order in recent weeks, due to the departures of Alex Pritchard and Carel Eiting respectively. 

Perhaps what put Matty Daly on the back foot last season was a relatively weak pre-season and when Huddersfield start their preparations for the upcoming campaign, it's paramount that the 20-year-old hits the ground running.

Making an impression on head coach Corberan would go a long way to establishing himself in the team and with fewer players ahead of him in the hierarchy, Daly needs to ensure that he's in fine form over the course of pre-season to get his opportunity.

B team action will boost his chances

For players like Daly on the fringes of the first team, the newly formed B team was vitally important for him last season and significantly boosts his chances of first-team involvement in the future.

Working extremely closely with Carlos Corberan's first team, his game time with the B team last season will have helped him to adapt to the Spaniards demanding brand of football, while he continues to wait for a run of games in the first team.

Daly is one of a handful of players hoping to make the leap from the B team to the first team and if he does, the B team will once again be proving its importance to the West Yorkshire side.

The threat of being loaned out

But while the regular action with the B team will have brought forward the development of Daly, he also faces the threat of being loaned out this summer, which could eat into his time to make an impact.

One of the players currently ahead of Daly in the pecking order for the battle to feature in Carlos Corberan's team selection is fellow academy graduate Scott High, who spent the first half of last season on loan with League One outfit Shrewsbury Town.

High returned to West Yorkshire in January and while he didn't pull up too many trees in his temporary spell with the Shrews, the loan clearly was beneficial, with High featuring heavily towards the end of last season for Huddersfield off the bench, at the expense of Daly. While a loan could help Daly like it did High, it would once again delay his breakthrough by which point High could well be the next academy graduate to establish themselves in the first team.


The most likely outcome for Daly in the near future would be a temporary departure from the John Smith's Stadium, unless he can make a real impression on Carlos Corberan in pre-season.

While a loan would undoubtedly be beneficial for Daly’s experience, it would run the risk of him missing out once again on a glorious opportunity to make a first-team breakthrough, off the back of a frustrating campaign with limited opportunities last season.

Huddersfield fans will soon find out the outcome for Daly, but you can't help but feel like this season could be make or break. Make like Lewis O'Brien and Rarmarni Edmonds-Green, or break like Demeaco Duhaney and Jaden Brown, two youngsters who were recently released by the Terriers, having come so close and yet so far to establishing themselves in the first team.