By Noel Whelan

26th Dec, 2020 | 1:21pm

Whelan Exclusive: Leeds youngster tipped for first PL start after 'Massive' update

Noel Whelan has suggested Leeds United youngster Leif Davis could earn his first Premier League start against Burnley on Sunday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites striker and boyhood Elland Road fan admitted it was “massive” for Marcelo Bielsa to be without captain Liam Cooper this weekend.

The Leeds club captain limped off last week in their 6-2 defeat to Manchester United and was replaced by Davis.

 

The 20-year-old is a left-back by trade but lined up at the heat of defence at Old Trafford with the club in the midst of a defensive injury crisis.

Bielsa is without summer signing Robin Koch who will likely be out until February after having surgery on his knee while Diego Llorente only returned to full training this week.

The Argentine revealed in his press conference this week that Cooper is a doubt for Sunday’s clash.

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“I think that’s massive,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“We know how strong Burnley are going forward from set-pieces and that seems to be one of our weak areas and our Achilles heel. 

“To miss someone like that, who’s our leader, got a goal against Manchester United at a set-piece and can be influential defending corners and free-kicks which is what Sean Dyche and Burnley are very good at.

“Just to miss that leadership out there is a huge miss.

“It may be an opportunity for Leif Davis who seems to be that choice of defender to come in.”

Davis, 20, has not started just one league game for the Whites in the 2018/19 season and has only played 34 minutes of top-flight football this term.

Last season he played just 12 minutes of Championship football as they secured the title.

In other news, a top pundit has backed Leeds United to sign a Liverpool “powerhouse” after a Twitter surprise.