By Noel Whelan

20th Jan, 2021 | 7:00am

Pundit Exclusive: Two Leeds teens tipped for first XI promotion after Bielsa drops hint

Young Leeds United striker Sam Greenwood and Joe Gelhardt may have a role to play in the Premier League this season.

That is the view of former Whites striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Marcelo Bielsa’s forward options after their 1-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Argentine said in his pre-match press conference that Greenwood was ready for a challenge above Under-23 level after his cameo against Crawley Town in the FA Cup third round.

The 18-year-old did not make the matchday squad on Saturday and dropped back to the Under-23s for their 1-0 win over Stoke City on Monday.

Asked by Football Insider whether Bielsa’s comments meant Greenwood could leave on loan, Whelan said: “I think right now we don’t have too many options at centre-forward so you’ve got to keep them here.

“Saying that, you’ve got Joe Gelhardt as well who has got first-team experience from when he was at Wigan Athletic. Greenwood hasn’t. Both are options. They’ve done equally as well in the Under-23s, there isn’t one that is standing out above the other.

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“If you’re looking at experience and first-team football you look at Gelhardt. Greenwood came on against Crawley and spent the majority of his time in midfield.

“You need someone who is going to be disciplined and play the role up against the centre-halves, not somebody who is going to come in and be a body where Pablo Hernandez or Rodrigo are.

“You need somebody who is going to play the role, go in behind, link up play in wide areas and keep the two centre-halves occupied. If he can’t do taht, then we can’t look towards Greenwood.

“We definitely need more options on the bench, just in case we need to change. I would like more experience but this is a difficult window to go out there and get somebody.”

In other news, Football Insider can reveal Bielsa’s plan for Robbie Gotts after a surprise Leeds United twist.