By Noel Whelan

29th Jun, 2021 | 10:08am

Whelan cites Raphinha as Leeds reportedly plot new attacker signing

Noel Whelan has heralded the transfer strategy at Leeds United amid links to Blackburn Rovers attacker Ben Brereton.

The former Leeds forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Whites wanted to sign younger players like Raphinha to get the “very, very best” out of them.

As reported by Chilean sports news outlet Red Gol (June 23rd), Leeds are considering a move for 22-year-old Brereton after his impressive displays for Chile at the Copa America.

It is said Marcelo Bielsa has admired the Blackburn star since he starred against Leeds for Rovers two years ago.

The report goes on to say the Argentine boss is keeping tabs on Brereton’s performances for the national side Bielsa once managed.

Whelan suggested the versatile Rovers star would fit perfectly into Leeds’ strategy of recruiting younger talent to develop into top stars.

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Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “We’re looking for a certain player at a certain age.

“I think that’s been shown bar the Rodrigo signing. That was for some more experience. I think when you look at the signings Marcelo Bielsa has made, they’re for the future.

“Raphinha, Robin Koch – Llorente’s 27 but still a very good age where you’re going to get four or five years out of him. Generally, we’re looking around that 21, 22, 23 mark to get the very, very best out of these young players.

“They are going to fit into a very, very young squad as well. We’re growing for the future, we’re looking for the future. Not just to buy and sell in two years but to buy, keep and challenge.”

Brereton has played as a winger or a centre-forward for both club and country.

Brereton has scored nine times and contributed nine assists in 88 games for Blackburn.

He has netted one goal and assisted another in his four games for Chile so far.

In other news, Bielsa is in contact with Leeds United transfer target as playing role discussed.