Noel Whelan has urged Victor Orta and his scouting network to discover a hidden striker gem who can bang in 25 goals for Leeds United next season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United front man called on director of football Orta to follow Norwich City’s lead and unearth a forward capable of taking the Championship by storm.

Daniel Farke’s side won the league title to secure Premier League promotion on the back of the goals of the division’s top scorer, Teemu Pukki.

The Finland striker netted 29 times in this season’s Championship after being signed on free transfer from Danish club Brondby last summer.

“Who knew about Pukki? No-one,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Norwich went out and found him, and the result is Premier League football. That’s why you have scouts.

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“Victor Orta is looking for the bargain basement players who can be a gem. They are out there, you just have to find them.

“It’s obvious, but Leeds need a striker capable of scoring 25 goals. That’s what’s been missing this season. I guarantee you Billy Sharp would have got 25 goals at Leeds this season. He doesn’t miss chances. You need someone who is clinical to put the ball in the back of the net.

“It’s the same with Pukki, I guarantee you he would score 25 goals at Leeds. So would Tammy Abraham. Find the hidden gem. Norwich did the groundwork behind the scenes. Sometimes you have to go above and beyond.”

Andrea Radrizzani warned at a football summit on Wednesday that it will be a “difficult” summer transfer window for Leeds after they missed out on promotion via the play-offs.

There is unlikely to be major funds for Marcelo Bielsa to spend if, as expected, he decides to stay on as manager for a second season.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the future of a key Whites player is massively in doubt after a “falling-out” with Bielsa behind the scenes.