Former Motherwell Under-20s coach Stephen Craigan has warned Stuart McKinstry of the potential dangers of a move to Leeds United so early on in his career.

McKinstry has attracted Leeds and Premier League side Southampton’s attention after his impressive performances for the Motherwell Under-18 side.

Still only 16, McKinstry made the Motherwell bench against Kilmarnock, a game that the Fir Park outfit eventually lost last month.

The talented winger signed his first professional contract with the club last summer and is knocking on the first team door.

Craigan, however, feels that McKinstry should wait and get a handful of games for the Motherwell senior team before eventually moving as the pressure of moving away to Leeds might be too much to handle at such a young age.

“He’s only played a couple of reserve games, not a lot of minutes”, Craigan was quoted as saying by the Evening Times.

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“There’s a big jump to being up against guys who are 19, 20, 21.

"It is physically more demanding first and foremost.

“The first six months in, they learn the habits. He’s been in for that.

“Now he’s settled, finding his feet in the environment and isn’t overawed training with the first team as a Motherwell fan. He’s got over that. But he’s one for the future.

“If the opportunity is there to move to on sign for Leeds, that’s a big jump for him.

“I left home at 17 and I felt I was reasonably mature for 17.

"And I got over here and realised I wasn’t, I hadn’t a clue what was going on.”

Leeds and Southampton are claimed to be competing for the attacker’s signature, and it remains to be seen if either succeed in tempting him away from Motherwell.