Noel Whelan cannot believe Leeds United have not signed a midfielder this month, either permanently or on loan with an option to buy. 

The former Whites and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, said he is scared by the lack of squad depth at Elland Road and pointed in particular to the lack of cover for Kalvin Phillips.

Football Insider understands Leeds made numerous attempts to sign a centre-midfielder last summer but extensive negotiations for Michael Cuisance and Rodrigo de Paul failed to seal a deal.

Such attempts, coupled with the newly-promoted side’s struggles without Kalvin Phillips, led to many fans and pundits expecting a midfield signing at Elland Road this month.

However, Marcelo Bielsa revealed in a press conference quoted by Leeds Live, that he does not expect any arrivals before next Monday’s transfer deadline.

When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on the lack of transfer activity, Whelan said: “I’m very surprised that we have not signed a midfielder.

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“I thought we would at least on loan with an option to buy at the end because we need more strength in depth, especially in that midfield area.

“When Kalvin is injured, we are not the same side. We need help.

“When Kalvin is not in the side we are not even close to being the same side. We do not attack as well and that is because the players lack trust when he is not behind them.

“It is scary to think how much of an influence Kalvin is on the way we play.” 

Leeds have lost three of the four league games in which Kalvin Phillips has been absent this season – as opposed to six of the 15 in which he has started.

The England international started the 2-1 win over Newcastle United last night as Marcelo Bielsa’s side ended a run of three straight defeats.

In other news, Leeds United respond to multiple approaches from EFL clubs for teenager striker Joe Gelhardt.