By Noel Whelan

12th Sep, 2020 | 8:30pm

Exclusive: Whelan drops bold claim after Leeds contract update

Noel Whelan has backed Marcelo Bielsa to deal with the extra pressure brought from Leeds United being back in the Premier League.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds ace and boyhood Whites fan delivered his verdict as Bielsa agreed a contract extension at Elland Road.

Leeds United confirmed that the Argentine had put pen-to-paper on a new one-year deal after Bielsa told the press on Thursday that he was staying at the club.

After managing 100 games in his first two seasons at Elland Road, this will be Bielsa’s third season at the Yorkshire giants, the longest he’s stayed at a club.

That includes his time at his hometown side Newell’s Old Boys where he won two league titles and who renamed their stadium after the 65-year-old.

Asked by Football Insider about the extra pressure Bielsa will be under in the Premier League, Whelan said: “He’s a very experienced manager and somebody who just loves to get on with his job.

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“It’ll be no different to Jurgen Klopp or Jose Mourinho. Jose probably knows more about Marcelo Bielsa, than Marcelo does Jose Mourinho!

“The spotlight is going to be on him because he’s a very good international manager, no different to anybody else in the Premier League.

“The fact that Leeds United are back in there, a very big club, there’s going to be all kind of spotlights, not just on Marcelo Bielsa, but on the players as well. 

“Everyone is looking forward to seeing how they do.

“Jurgen Klopp was singing his praises and that will be the case in every manager’s side when he pulls up with his side.”

In other Leeds United news, Kevin Phillips has named the Whites player he expects to dazzle this season.