By Noel Whelan

26th Jun, 2021 | 8:00pm

Leeds teenager will be promoted to first XI after Casey exit confirmed - Whelan

Noel Whelan has suggested Charlie Cresswell will be a regular among the senior Leeds United squad next season after Oliver Casey’s exit.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, named 18-year-old Cresswell as the fifth-choice centre-back at Elland Road.

Leeds confirmed on Tuesday (June 22nd) Casey had completed a permanent move to Blackpool after coming through the Whites’ academy.

The 20-year-old made three first-team appearances, two of which came during the 2020/21 campaign.

However, Whelan suggested he had fallen behind Cresswell in the pecking order despite being two years his senior.

He claimed the teenager was now behind Liam Cooper, Diego Llorente, Pascal Struijk and Robin Koch.

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Reacting to Casey’s exit, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I think it’s progression and it’s investment, isn’t it?

As much as we do have investors and we’re in a healthy place, we still have to sell players and still make money on certain players.

“Right now, he was definitely not going to be breaking in. There’s no way that Oliver Casey, no matter how good a prospect he is, is going to break through Cresswell. He’s already ahead of him.

“The other four centre-halves we have, they’re almost all internationals. It’s a very, very tough place to be for a centre-half right now at Elland road when you look at the quality and calibre of player ahead of them.”

Marcelo Bielsa named Casey as a substitute nine times in the league last term, including on the final day of the season.

Meanwhile, Cresswell made his one and only senior appearance to date in the League Cup defeat to Hull.

However, he was on the bench eight times in the league.

In other news, a Leeds United international’s future is “on the line”, claims Whelan.