Kevin Phillips insists Patrick Bamford would welcome the competition if Ivan Toney joined Leeds United. 

The former Sunderland striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claims Toney, 24, could make the step up to the Premier League after impressing in The Championship this season.

Last week, TeamTalk reported that Leeds have been in contact with Brentford over a potential summer move for the forward.

Toney has 26 goals in 34 Championship appearances this season as he sits six goals clear of Teemu Pukki who is the second-highest scorer in the second tier this year.

Brentford are still in the hunt for an automatic promotion place which means Leeds may be looking to buy from a fellow Premier League club if they make a bid for Toney this summer.

Phillips claims Bamford will want competition for his place in the Leeds team as it will stop him from getting complacent in front of goal.

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“Any competition is healthy,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

“Bamford would welcome it, I’m sure. It pushes you and stops you from getting complacent.

“You don’t want a player coming off the pitch like Bamford at West Ham thinking ‘well it doesn’t matter I’m still going to be playing on Saturday’. 

“You want someone in the wings who’s pushing and challenging. If it’s Ivan Toney, he’s lit up the Championship this year. 

“He looks like an Ollie Watkins who could step up and make an impression, any competition is healthy.”

Bamford is having a great season of his own after notching 13 Premier League goals and picking up five assists in 28 appearances so far this campaign.

However, Bamford picked up an injury against Chelsea on Saturday and this has once again raised doubts over Marcelo Bielsa’s depth in the forward position.

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan is fuming with what he saw from one player against Chelsea.