Leeds United could have been battling relegation without Patrick Bamford’s goals – if anyone deserves a new deal it is him. 

That is according to ex-Leeds forward Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after The Athletic‘s Phil Hay said he expects the striker to sign a contract extension ahead of next season.

Leeds spent £78million on wages in the last financial year, as per their most recent set of accounts.

Bamford’s £40,000 per week wage accounts for £2m of that and this site revealed in February that the club are set to open talks with him over a new deal.

The 27-year-old has been directly involved in 21 of Leeds’ 47 Premier League goals this season with 14 goals and seven assists.

Whelan claims Bamford is fully deserving of a new deal as without his efforts Leeds could easily have been sucked into a relation fight.

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He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “He deserves to be one of the top earners. He’s been excellent this season and last. There were a lot of question marks but he’s really raised his game.

“This season, he’s really stepped up to the plate after having a few seasons at Premier League level and not performing.

“He’s been an ever-present. Even when he’s had injuries he’s continued to play. Without him, we could have been a lot worse off in points. Without his goals, we could have been in a relegation battle. 

“He deserves the reward of a new contract. I’m sure he’ll be up there with the top earners and he deserves it after banging in goals all season.”

Leeds are currently 11th in the league table, level on points with Arsenal in 10th.

They face Man City, Liverpool and Man United in their next three games.

In other news, Leeds United have made up their minds on signing 17 goal/assist England Under-21 international after contact made.