Noel Whelan urges Leeds to buy top player to complement key man in summer window

By Alex Stevens

Leeds need to buy a pacy forward to complement spearhead Chris Wood in the summer, according to Noel Whelan.

The Yorkshire giants have scored just 46 goals in 43 Championship matches this season, which is the second worst record of the top 16 placed sides in the division.

This comes after Leeds scored six goals in their last three matches, which has secured consecutive wins for Steve Evans’ side and lifted them to 11th in the table.

The team’s top goalscorer is Wood, who has struck 11 times in the league, but this return pales in comparison with the most prolific front men in the Championship.

Burnley’s Andre Gray tops the charts this season with 24 goals, followed by Fulham’s Ross McCormack, the former Leeds forward who has scored 21 times.

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Ex-Elland Road striker Whelan is convinced that owner Massimo Cellino must sanction some heavy spending for a striker who can add dovetail with Wood.

“There’s always goals in the young man, we know that, but next year we have got to get somebody who is going to complement his style as well – somebody with a bit of pace, who can get in behind defenders and then I think we can keep playing two up front” wrote Whelan in his Yorkshire Evening Post column. “I think that is needed for Wood and it will probably bring the best out of him as well.

“I’ve always defended Chris Wood and I’ve always thought he is going to be a good player for Leeds United when he gets settled. And playing up front by yourself is not easy. It’s a very difficult job to do.

“It takes a lot of energy because you are trying to control two centre-halves and you are also working the full-backs as well and it’s all about the support that comes up to him.”

Manager Evans has made it clear that Wood is his first choice front man and has spoken confidently of the New Zealand international scoring 20-plus goals next season if he can steer clear of the injuries that have hampered him this season.

In other Leeds news, Evans has made a bold claim about next season at Elland Road.