Date: 30th April 2019 at 10:51am
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EXCLUSIVE

Noel Whelan has claimed Aston Villa’s squad is so strong three of their back-up players would “walk into the Leeds starting XI”.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former United and Coventry City striker explained how impressed he has been by Villa during their remarkable run of 10 wins and a draw from their last 11 matches.

Whelan attributes the transformation that has catapulted Dean Smith’s side into the play-offs to shrewd management as well as the best squad in the Championship.

Villa’s winning run came to an end in an explosive encounter at Elland Road on Sunday that finished 1-1 and which included a visiting side that had proven performers Alan Hutton, Albert Adomah and Glenn Whelan on the bench.

“They have the best squad in the Championship, there’s no doubt about that and they are a dangerous side who everyone will want to avoid in the play-offs,” Whelan said.

“They are a great outfit. When you look at their squad and the players on the bench at Elland Road – Hutton, Adomah, Whelan, they would walk into the Leeds starting XI.”

Full-back Hutton, winger Adomah and central midfielder Whelan have been keen members of the Villa squad this season and have each played over 20 league matches.

But they face a battle to convince Smith they should be in the starting XI for the play-off semi-final, which is likely to be against Midlands rivals West Brom.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that club chiefs are fuming behind the scenes after being trumped to “unbelievable” signing.