'I'm not sure what else he has to do' - Whelan can't believe Leeds teen snub from Bielsa

EXCLUSIVE

Noel Whelan has urged Marcelo Bielsa to stop snubbing Ryan Edmondson and promote him into the first-team squad starting with this weekend’s Championship opener against Bristol City.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker is convinced the centre-forward, who turned 18 at the end of May, can make a big impact for the team after watching his progress closely.

Whelan believes Leeds need an alternative centre-forward option to Patrick Bamford and Kemar Roofe, who is set to be sidelined for a month due to injury.

Marcelo Bielsa has shown great faith in United academy products since taking over the reins, most notably in his use of Jack Clarke and Jamie Shackleton, but has virtually ignored Edmondson despite his impressive showings at youth team level.

“We need another striker and, if we’re not going to buy one, then Edmondson has to be promoted,” Whelan told Football Insider. “We can’t just have two centre-forwards, especially ones who miss so many games through injury.

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“Edmondson has done well in pre-season, but has not got a look-in. He gives the team a different dimension as he’s physical, good in the air and can score goals from different positions and angles. He’s a real handful.

“He offers a different dimension to what we’ve got in Kemar Roofe and Patrick Bamford. Ryan’s an out-and-out striker, and you need one of those, as goals win you football matches.

“I’ve seen him play a fair bit for the Under-23s, and I really like what I see. I’m not sure what else he has to do to get a chance.”

York-born Edmondson has made two substitute appearances for the Leeds senior side, one in September of last year and one in the final match of the 2017-18 season when Paul Heckingbottom was manager.

His prolific scoring was key to the Under-23s lifting the Professional Development League title last season, but he was surprisingly omitted from the pre-season tour of Australia.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a club are tabling £2m-a-year United player offer as talks advance.