By Noel Whelan

23rd Nov, 2021 | 6:00pm

Pundit issues '£30m' Leeds player claim after Carsley's Thorp Arch reveal

Leeds United could “save millions” in the transfer market by persisting with “vital” youth development under Marcelo Bielsa, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted there are a “number of top talents” coming through the ranks at the Yorkshire club.

Leeds United named a substitutes bench with an average age of just 20.9 as they fell 2-1 to Tottenham in north London.

Joe Gelhardt also earned his full senior debut.

The young striker is part of a Leeds United quintet featuring for England’s U20 and U21 age groups this season.

U21 manager Lee Carsley hailed the club’s academy for doing a “great job” with the development of youth.

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As quoted by Leeds Live (November 12th), the former Everton midfielder also admitted he “really likes” the set-up at Thorp Arch, having visited “a couple of times”.

Whelan insisted the system is ready to produce players with the potential to save Leeds United up to ‘£30million’ at a time.

“This development of youth isn’t a new thing this season under Marcelo Bielsa,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“A pathway has always been in place at Leeds United, all the way through to when I was at the club with Howard Wilkinson.

“It just shows the importance of having the right people in that academy setup. The development coaches and scouts are incredibly vital – and they can save the club millions if they get it right.

“You can produce some really top-class talent without going out and spending £20-30m per player, especially in the Premier League.

“It’s looking really promising at Thorp Arch at the moment – there seems to be a number of top talents coming through.”

19-year-old midfielder Stuart McKinstry also entered the fray in the second half to make his senior bow.

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