Leeds United have been handed a “massive boost” with Kieran Tierney ruled out for Arsenal this weekend.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker and lifelong fan at Elland Road insisted the Scotland international would be a “huge” miss for the Gunners as he is a key man at both ends of the pitch for Mikel Arteta.
As confirmed by Arsenal on Thursday evening, the 23-year-old full-back is still recovering from a muscle strain and is set to return to training next week.
With Tierney out, Cedric Soares has filled in at left-back for the win over Southampton, draw against Arsenal and defeats to Wolves and Aston Villa.
Whelan admitted he has been impressed with what he has seen from the former Celtic man this season and insisted his absence was good news for Marcelo Bielsa’s men.
Asked how big a miss Tierney would be against the Whites, Whelan told Football Insider: “Huge, he has been massively impressive this season. I think he’s now finding his feet in the Arsenal side and you can see that from the performances he’s put in.
“He’s been good going forward but not just that, his defensive ability as well and I think he gives you that nice balance on the left-hand side which they’ve been missing for quite a while.
“It’s taken him a bit of time to adjust to life at Arsenal but I think now the Arsenal fans are seeing what he’s all about, why he’s young and he’s been brought into the side and they’re getting the best out of him.
“It’s a key position for the teams these days, the wing-backs, in any side but to miss someone of his quality and his delivery and assists, yeah, going to be a massive boost for Leeds, I think.”