Leeds United would be “stupid” to not explore the possibility of signing Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites striker and boyhood fan admitted Leeds will not be the only club keen on the Dutchman who is set to become a free agent in the summer.

Football Insider revealed last month that Van Aanholt had opened talks with a Champions League club after rejecting a new Palace deal.

Leeds United

The Mirror report the 30-year-old has now emerged as a target for Leeds who are in need of a natural left-back.

And Whelan has claimed they could do a lot worse than signing Van Aanholt.

He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “If there are players out there with the right ability and the right criteria that are going to match Marcelo Bielsa’s requirements and it’s a free contract, you’d be stupid not to go in for these players and take them and use the money elsewhere to strengthen your side.

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“He’s got loads of experience, he’s got the energy to get forward, he can get a goal, he’s got a good left foot, he’s aggressive.

“When you’re looking at all these things you need in a left wing-back, he’s got it, he’s absolutely got it.

“You’d be silly to not question whether he could do the job for Leeds United or any other club, for that matter.

“I’m sure if he is available, Leeds United will not be the only club looking.

“Free contracts, if they’re out there, with the right attitude and right commitment they will be looked at, absolutely.

“We definitely need that wing-back that can do everything. We can’t be putting square pegs in round holes anymore because it’s too important.

“The way we play, we play dominant with wing-backs getting forward.”

In other news, Danny Mills has tipped Leeds United to sign the next Nigel Martyn.