Noel Whelan has been left raving as Leeds United plot to sign Fikayo Tomori from Chelsea on loan in January.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker has insisted the England defender ticks all the boxes for Marcelo Bielsa with his “great leap” and aerial prowess.
The Chelsea defender, who has one England cap to his name, has struggled for game time under Frank Lampard this season, with just one 44-minute runout in the Premier League so far.
At Leeds, former ever-present Robin Koch has been ruled out for up to three months after undergoing surgery, Diego Llorente has played just once due to his niggly injury problems and Liam Cooper has also missed several games.
The various setbacks at Elland Road means the likes of right-back Luke Ayling and versatile enforcer Pascal Struijk have had to step in as a makeshift centre-back on more than one occasion.
Whelan has insisted Leeds need only sign players who are going to be an improvement on what they already have and that Tomori would give the Whites what they are missing right now.
Whelan told Football Insider: “He’s aggressive, he’s good on the ball, he’s got a great leap, he’s got a good stature about him – I would not grumble getting him in in January, if that was the case.
“When you’re looking at bringing people in, you’ve got to bring people in that are going to contribute and can be better than what you’ve already got.
“Right now we’ve got a long-term injury in Robin Koch, we’ve got Llorente, who may be coming back in two to three weeks, but we’re gonna still need cover because Koch is a long term injury.
“It’s going to take him a bit of time to get over that, then get back to fitness and then get back up to speed with Marcelo Biela so we’re going to need to experience – a player that’s played already in the Premier League, knows all about it and knows about the league itself and the teams you’re gonna be playing against.
“Tomori’s one player, if you’re going to look out there, young, he ticks the boxes for Marcelo Bielsa so I wouldn’t grumble at bringing him in if he is available.”