'We've some player on our hands' - Exclusive: Whelan reacts to Hay's Leeds transfer reveal
Noel Whelan has claimed Leeds United may have ‘some player on their hands’ if Yan Couto is signed and declared ready for first-team action at Elland Road.
However, the former Leeds and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, has doubts over whether the 17-year-old would be able to displace the likes of Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas in the side.
Manchester City announced the signing of the teenager on 1 March from Serie A side Coritiba FC and the defender has agreed a five-year deal at the Etihad.
Phil Hay revealed on his weekly podcast that there is the potential for Leeds to sign the highly-rated youngster on loan next season.
Whelan was sceptical as to whether there would be opportunities at Elland Road with established players Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling both right-backs.
“It sounds exciting,” he told Football Insider.
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“But is he going to push Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling in that position?”
“He is 17 years of age – is he ready for Premier League football? Or even the Championship?
“He seems like he is one for the future but I doubt he benefit more from playing in Leeds’ under-23s over Manchester City’s under-23s.
“It all depends on his ability. If he cannot challenge Ayling and Dallas then it seems pointless when he could be at a Manchester City, maybe a year of bedding in then coming to Leeds may be more beneficial.
“But if they think he is ready, then we must have some player on our hands because Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling are not going to give that spot up easily.”
The teenager has already won 13 caps for his country at Under-17 level and won the Under-17s World Cup last November.
Phil Hay said: “Couto is one to watch.”
In other Leeds United news, Kevin Phillips has told Football Insider Marcelo Bielsa will stick with inconsistent performer next year.