'Get him off the wage bill' - Whelan tears into senior Leeds player close to joining new club
Noel Whelan has insisted Leeds United must get Caleb Ekuban “off the wage bill” as a mass exodus is set to begin at the club following their play-off heartache.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former United striker believes the departure of the striker can free up space and cash to bring in a superior replacement.
As reported by Football Insider, Ekuban, 24, is close to sealing an £860,000 permanent move to Trabzonspor after spending the season on loan at the Turkish club.
It is expected the 25-year-old will complete his permanent exit from Elland Road within the coming weeks.
“We won’t miss him, if we did we would not loan him out,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He went on loan because he is not good enough for Leeds.
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“Marcelo Bielsa wanted a small squad and the ones surplus to requirements were let go. I wouldn’t question his decision to loan Caleb Ekuban. I don’t think any of the loaned-out players can say, ‘Bielsa got it wrong’.
“Let the player leave and let him get regular football. It frees up a place in the squad and space on the wage bill. Get him off the wage bill and get someone better in.”
Ekuban joined Leeds from Serie B side Chievo in the summer of 2017 amid a wave of new arrivals at Elland Road following Andrea Radrizzani’s takeover.
His debut campaign was disrupted by two serious foot injuries but his tally of two goals from 21 matches was underwhelming.
“There is potential there with Caleb Ekuban,” Whelan added. “But that final bit of quality needed to put the ball in the back of the net, he couldn’t deliver.”