By Noel Whelan

12th Sep, 2020 | 9:00am

Exclusive: Whelan Wowed by Leeds 16yo who 'Stood out like a Sore Thumb' in EFL Trophy

Noel Whelan has singled out promising Leeds United defender Jeremiah Mullen as “one to keep your eye on” after his under-21s appearance against Accrington Stanley.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker, who was in attendance for the EFL Trophy clash, revealed the centre-back “stood out like a sore thumb” for Mark Jackson’s men.

The 16-year-old, who joined the Whites’ youth side from Liverpool’s academy this summer, started at the heart of the defence in the 7-0 defeat to a more experienced Stanley side.

However, Whelan admits that Mullen was a standout performer despite the result and believes the youngster is a hot prospect that Leeds fans can start to get excited about.

Whelan told Football Insider: “He stood out like a sore thumb.

“Because we were under pressure quite often over that 90 minute period, his dominance in the air, he’s very comfortable on the ball, his positional sense, yeah, a very, very good performance from that young man.

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“He was one we were talking about throughout the 90 minutes, his ability to defend, his aggression, his comfortability on the ball, his decision making, positioning, he looks like a really good prospect for the future.

“One definitely to keep your eye on.” 

First-team manager Marcelo Bielsa has already brought a number of promising defensive talents through the youth system and into the senior side during his time at Elland Road.

The likes of Leif Davis and Pascal Struijk have both played for the senior side while midfielder Jamie Shackleton has also featured as a right-back on occasion.

In other Leeds United news, Bielsa has been told to hand out a debut against Liverpool after a starting XI hint in training.