By Noel Whelan

8th Jan, 2021 | 6:00pm

'Like a new signing' - Exclusive: Whelan buzzing at big Leeds development

Patrick Bamford has been “like a new signing” this season and is well-deserving of a new contract at Leeds United.

That is the view of former Leeds striker Noel Whelan who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has lauded the consistency of the current Whites hitman in the last year-and-a-half.

The Sun report that Leeds are set to open negotiations with the 27-year-old, who has entered the final 18 months of his current terms, over a new and improved contract.

Bamford has flourished on his return to the Premier League with 10 goals from 17 appearances this season, having netted just once in his previous 27 top-flight outings.

He could have had even more if not for the performances of opposition goalkeepers and defenders with more shots on target – 28 – than any other player in the division.

Whelan has heralded Bamford as a “massive reason” for Leeds’ success and insisted he does not look out of place as a Premier League player.

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Whelan told Football Insider: I mean he has literally been like a new signing really when you look at the way he’s been consistent and the way he’s been playing over the past 18 months.

“He’s been fantastic – he’s a massive reason why we are in the Premier League now and why we’re doing so well in the Premier League. Rightly so he gets rewarded with a new contract.

“He’s shown his worth, he’s shown he can do it, he’s progressing under Marcelo Bielsa and at Leeds United and become one of the main players consistently on the team sheet.

“The manager’s put his faith in him, and he’s repaid him and we’re seeing a really renewed kind of Patrick Bamford who, at the minute, he’s one of the players that is standing out there at the top with most shots in the Premier League.”

Bamford has netted a total of 36 goals in 89 appearances for Leeds to date, three more than he scored for Middlesbrough in eight fewer games.

In other news, Leeds United could pull off a transfer coup thanks to the “old pals act”.