By Noel Whelan

24th Nov, 2020 | 7:00am

Whelan Exclusive: Leeds have 'next Hernandez' in their ranks after he starred for U23s

Noel Whelan has heaped praise on Leeds United attacker Rodrigo Moreno as he stepped up his return to fitness with two appearances in two days.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds striker and boyhood Whites fan backed the Spain international to start against Everton next week.

Rodrigo was introduced with 20 minutes to go against Arsenal on Sunday and played the first half of the Under-23s’ 2-1 victory against West Brom on Monday.

Before the visit of the Gunners on Sunday, Leeds’ record signing had been out of action since the beginning of month because he was self-isolating.

But Whelan was left very impressed by his cameo in the Whites’ 0-0 draw with Mikel Arteta’s side.

“He was fantastic,” Whelan told Football Insider.

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“He’s definitely got an appetite there. Straight away, as soon as he came on he’s doing the defensive work, he’s winning the ball back.

“He’s always looking for it, he’s never ever standing still, he’s always on the move and that’s what I like about him. He can’t be marked, he’s always looking for a space – very much the next Pablo Hernandez.

“He’s always brave and wants the ball in tight situations. We saw how dangerous he was when he came on.

“He’s got a lovely left foot and he only needs half a yard to get a shot off and he was very unlucky when he hit the crossbar.

“He is a player that looks like he can make things happen. He’s very intelligent, he brings other people into play and makes space for them.

“When you’ve got a player like that and you’ve paid top money for them then he has a real case to start against Everton next week.”

In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills has suggested the real reason for Pascal Struijk’s new contract.