By Noel Whelan

6th Nov, 2019 | 5:00pm

'That's what I'm hearing' - Exclusive: Whelan names Leeds striker if Bamford gets injured

Noel Whelan has insisted that Tyler Roberts will be the alternative attack spearhead to Patrick Bamford as Leeds United prepare for Eddie Nketiah’s lengthy absence.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Whelan explained that he expects the Wales international to become the back-up striker despite his excellent performance in a deeper role last weekend.

Roberts produced an outstanding display in the number 10 role in what was his first league start of the season, in Saturday’s 2-0 win over QPR.

But Leeds are down to just one senior orthodox centre-forward for at least a month, as Football Insider revealed an update on Nketiah’s injury that is far worse than originally feared.

“Tyler Roberts will be the back-up striker to Patrick if he gets injured or taken off, that’s what I’m hearing,” Whelan told Football Insider. “That certainly makes sense, even though Roberts was fantastic in the number 10 role against QPR.

“He has played at centre-forward for Leeds before and that’s where he is usually used by Wales as well.

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“I think he is better behind the striker, turning, linking the play, driving towards goal and finding angles, but he can lead the line as well.

“I can’t see Bielsa turning to Ryan Edmondson, as he’s not even made the squad yet this season, while Helder Costa and Jack Harrison are far better with the ball at their feet and running at defenders rather than leading the line.”

Roberts has been hit by a series of injuries since joining Leeds from West Brom in January of last year for a fee potentially rising to £4million.

He only recently returned after undergoing knee injury in the summer.

He has made 37 appearances for United in all competitions, scoring four goals and supplying six assists.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that Newcastle United held an Elland Road transfer mission on Saturday.