'Very valuable' - Whelan drools over two-app Leeds teen as senior game changer
Noel Whelan has tipped 18-year-old striker Ryan Edmondson to be a game changer for Leeds United next season as he brings different qualities to the current forwards at Elland Road.
The former Whites forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that of the young guns looking to break through into the first team it is the teenage hitman he thinks could make the biggest difference to Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
The Argentine boss had Patrick Bamford and Keman Roofe to call upon up front during the 2018/19 campaign, the senior pair picking up separate injuries which limited their game time.
Whelan was left raving over Edmondson’s performances for the under-23 side last season and having seen him emerge on the fringes of the first team, says he wants to see him more heavily involved over the coming months.
“You’ve got (Ryan) Edmondson, I think he had a fantastic season last year,” Whelan told Football Insider.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“We did lack that attacking presence in many games and he certainly has that. His stature, his size, he gives a different dimension when he’s playing up front .
“He’s a different kind of player to Kemar Roofe and Patrick Bamford. They need people who are going to put pressure on their positions and he’s one that over the last couple of seasons has been progressing really nicely.
“I’d like to see him heavily involved in pre-season with the first team, getting games under his belt during that pre-season period and see if he can have something to offer because we don’t really have someone with that size and stature and that kind of physical attribute. He could be very valuable next season.”
The teen talent featured just once in the first team last season, coming off the substitutes’ bench to play 19 minutes against Birmingham City in September.
His debut for Leeds came in their final game of the 2017/18 campaign with a 16 minute cameo versus QPR.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are days away from signing two new players, with one penning a long-term contract.