By Harry Sykes
Noel Whelan has claimed that Leeds United should have funded a £2million January move for Sergi Canos to spearhead the club to promotion.
Leeds’ play-offs hopes are over following their 3-3 draw at home against Norwich, which means they cannot finish higher than seventh in the league this season.
Fulham will finish sixth after drawing 1-1 against Brentford on Saturday, giving them a three-point advantage over Leeds with a far superior goal difference.
Ex-Elland Road striker Whelan reflected on the club’s mid-season recruitment as one area that let them down at a time when they were well placed for a promotion charge.
Leeds were strongly linked throughout January with signing Canos from Norwich but in the end the winger joined Brentford for £2million and the Yorkshire giants completed deadline-day loan signings of wide men Alfonso Pedraza and Modou Barrow.
Whelan is convinced that the signing of Spain Under-19 international Canos would have provided manager Garry Monk with a far stronger option than what he had at his disposal.
“Newcastle had the parachute payments but they bought the players who they knew would get them promoted,” said Whelan on BBC Radio Leeds, as quoted by the BBC Leeds live match blog (Saturday, 5.34pm).
“And even with the money they’ve had – it’s not always been easy for them.
“But think about strikers: Sergi Canos, at Brentford. £2million. What a steal. I’d take him over any Leeds winger, bar [Kemar] Roofe.”
Leeds’ wide players such as Stuart Dallas, Hadi Sacko, Souleymane Doukara, Pedraza and Barrow have failed to provide much goal threat.
By contrast, former Liverpool player Canos has been outstanding for Brentford in recent months after struggling to make an impact at Norwich in the first half of the season.
In other Leeds United transfer news, a stunning £14million bid is being prepared as deal edges closer with Premier League big hitters.