Exclusive: Whelan tips Leeds to offer defender rolling contract after injury hell

Noel Whelan has suggested that Leeds United could hand promising defender Matty Downing a month-by-month contract after a difficult start to his career.

The former Whites striker and boyhood fan at Elland Road, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admits the 20-year-old has had a nightmare beginning to life as a footballer.

The United left-back was sidelined for nearly 20 months between 2017 and 2018 before suffering a broken leg in January 2019 which kept him for another five months.


Leeds revealed in May 2019 they had offered Downing a new deal to stay at Elland Road, and that is set to expire this summer.

Whelan believes that after such a torrid time through injury, the Whites could give him a chance to prove himself with a short-term rolling deal.

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“This is probably the downside to the game, is getting that one long-term injury that keeps you out for a long spell,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“It stops you developing, it stops you progressing, it stops you from showcasing your talent and it stops you from having any kind of leverage to a new contract, unfortunately, even at a young age.

“I think what they’ve got to take into consideration is that he’s not had much football playing time, do they risk a play giving him a new contract to give him that opportunity? Possibly.

“There won’t be an increase in wages or anything like that, it might just be a month-to-month, see how he goes as a fully fit player, or it might be get him out on loan and see how he does. 

“Or it might just be a clean break for both parties, let someone else progress his talent, see if they can get a player out of him.” 

In other Leeds United news, it can be revealed a big-money signing has stalled after Bielsa gave the green light.