By Noel Whelan

16th Sep, 2022 | 12:23pm

Leeds United employee shares 'huge' claim after new Patrick Bamford development

Noel Whelan has insisted Leeds United first-teamers like Patrick Bamford have a “real opportunity” to stay fresh and sharp with involvement in Friday’s (16 September) Under-23 clash with Southampton.

The former Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted minutes could be “huge” for out-of-sorts stars with the Yorkshire side going almost a month without a first-team game.

As per Leeds Live (16 September), a number of first-team stars are in contention to face Southampton in Premier League 2 action, including Patrick Bamford, Wilfried Gnonto, Liam Cooper, and Junior Firpo.

9,000 tickets have been sold for the clash at Elland Road – with a further 1,000 expected to be purchased ahead of kick-off.

Cooper and Firpo will look to step up their recovery from respective injuries which have limited their game time thus far this season.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “We’ve had such a long spell without a game now.

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“This is a real opportunity for these first-team players to get 90 minutes under their belts, no matter what stage of fitness they may be at.

“This is what Jesse Marsch wants and what these players will need as they go almost a month without a game.

“He can put some of the fringe players out, keep them fresh and keep them sharp – and that could be huge.”

Leeds United’s next fixture comes against Aston Villa on 2 October – 29 days after the 5-2 loss against Brentford.

The Whites sit ninth in the Premier League after wins against Chelsea and Wolves.

In other news, pundit lambasts “idiots” after Jesse Marsch development at Leeds United.