Whelan: Leeds teen 'pushing' Bamford hard after source's Thorp Arch reveal
Noel Whelan has suggested Sam Greenwood is “pushing” Patrick Bamford to keep standards high after dazzling the Leeds United coaches.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds forward insisted the 19-year-old is one of a few “smashing” young talents at Thorp Arch.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider Greenwood has blown Marcelo Bielsa and his coaching staff away in training and with his performances for the under-23s.
It is said the teenager is often described as a “phenomenal” talent behind the scenes.
Bamford is firmly Bielsa’s first-choice striker at Elland Road, with Rodrigo and Tyler Roberts occasionally used in his absence.
However, Whelan insisted Greenwood could be the one keeping the newly-capped England striker on his toes.
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Asked if he thought Greenwood could be in contention to step in for Bamford this season, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Yeah.
“This is why you have an academy system. It’s why we play a certain way, the same way as the first team plays.
“It’s an opportunity comes up, they can fit straight in. They’ve got to keep their standards high, which is what they are doing.
“Gelhardt is no different as well. There could be opportunities and it keeps everyone else on their toes.
“It pushes the first-team players, knowing that you’ve got these young players who are developing really quickly into fantastic football players and young men as well.
“They’re keeping their feet firmly on the ground and biding their time. This is what our football club is all about.
“It’s why we’ve had so much success with players coming through from the academy into the first team.
“It’s because of the coaching they’re getting, the standards that have been set by the first team. They’re following suit and it’s a nice chain to have.
“When you’ve got that professionalism running all the way through younger groups into the first team, the signs are really good.
“We’ve got some smashing players that will really be pushing the first-team players which is a great thing to have.”