By Noel Whelan

28th Sep, 2021 | 6:00pm

Whelan: McCarron set for Leeds breakthrough after Bielsa latest

Noel Whelan has insisted Liam McCarron’s new two-year deal at Leeds is “critical to his development”.

The Whites ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, praised the Elland Road side for keeping the youngster around in order to further his football education.

Leeds announced on 23 September that McCarron, 20, has penned a fresh deal keeping him at the club until 2023.

As quoted by Leeds Live in his pre-West Ham press conference (September 23rd), manager Marcelo Bielsa hailed the 20-year-old.

The Argentine said he had “shortened the distance” between him and senior players in his time training with the first team.

The versatile left-sided star is yet to make his senior debut for the club after joining from Carlisle in 2019.

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Whelan believes Leeds could save on transfer fees by integrating the young Scot into the first team before the end of his contract.

“I think these two years are going to be critical to his development,” he told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge.

“It’s only right that at 20 years of age, you give that player the opportunity to grow even more at the club.

“Then at 22, you would expect him to be pushing for a first-team role.

These are two critical years for him, and Leeds are not going to pass up an opportunity to see whether he can progress more under Mark Jackson in the U23s.”

McCarron has played six times for Mark Jackson’s U23 side in Premier League 2 competition this season, scoring once.

He starred in 16 League Two outings for Carlisle in the 2018/19 season before being snapped up by the Yorkshire giants.

In other news, pundit backs Kalvin Phillips for Leeds exit.