By Noel Whelan

21st Mar, 2020 | 9:00am

'Quite frankly...' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to Augustin reveal

Noel Whelan believes the break in fixtures could work out a treat for Leeds United striker Jean-Kevin Augustin after his fitness problems.

The former Leeds hitman and lifelong Whites fan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists the time off will work as a “mini pre-season” for the 22-year-old before a return to action.

As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, the coaching staff are concerned that the fitness levels of the RB Leipzig loanee will plummet as the first-team squad train in isolation at home.

Augustin only managed to play three times for Leeds, all as a substitute, before he was sidelined with a muscle injury.

However, Whelan believes that the time off could work in his favour and that he could prove the staff wrong by lifting his fitness levels on his own.

Whelan told Football Insider: “Look, he’s going to get that chunk of the season that’s left at some point, hopefully.

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“That might be the time where it gives him this bit of time to shed a few pounds, get into a good kind of shape and do this mini pre-season. It’s probably going to benefit him more than it will the other players quite frankly.

“He’ll be itching to get fit, get back to his fighting weight and then hopefully, when they get back into Thorp Arch again and training, he’s good to go.

“It will be nice to see more of him. Patrick’s done great but it’s nice to have that option and a fit Augustin would be good.”

Augustin was brought in to replace former loanee Eddie Nketiah, who managed to make just one Championship start during the first half of the season.

Patrick Bamford has been Bielsa’s first choice throughout the campaign, the former Middlesbrough man netting 13 goals in 36 games.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a £15million deal agreed is to be spread across four payments.