Noel Whelan has urged his former club, Leeds United, to sign a current Premier League star should circumstances fall in their favour, and he could well be the perfect replacement for a departing key figure…
Should the season get back underway, the Whites are merely nine games away from ending a 16-year absence from the top-flight, only a major slip-up will stand in their way.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa are at risk of coming straight back down following their playoff win last season, meaning the west Yorkshiremen could swap with the west Midlanders.
Ex-forward Whelan believes Marcelo Bielsa and co should try and clinch Tyrone Mings as a result of the Villans’ misfortune.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said:
“The spine of a side is so important. Look at how important Virgil Van Dijk has been and Vincent Kompany over the past few years.
“Mings is a fantastic player and a great buy. I would have snapped him up after the way he played last season.
“He got his England cap as well so it goes to show he is a very good centre-half. He has every attribute you would like – decent on the ball, strong, committed, good stature and very quick as well.
“He is a player that is only going to get better but if Aston Villa go down he will be in demand by other Premier League clubs. There may be a clause in his contract but I would presume Aston Villa will want more than £30million.”
Noel Whelan to Football Insider.
It remains to be seen if a deal like this is even plausible, given the fact that the 6 foot 5 colossus joined Villa in a £20m move last summer and has seen his Transfermart valuation rise to £25.2m already.
However, centre-back will be a major issue for Bielsa at the end of the season as he is surely set to lose Brighton loan star Ben White following his impressive defensive displays at Elland Road while Gaetano Berardi doesn’t appear any closer to receiving a contract extension.
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The former will be the biggest loss as he’s played every single league match, averaging a WhoScored rating of 7.05 as well as three clearances, 2.3 interceptions and 1.7 tackles per game, too.
His return to the south coast will mean there’s a monumental void to fill, and the 27-year-old can do it on sheer physical presence alone. He’s also got that top-flight experience under his belt, unlike many of Bielsa’s current central defensive options.
AND in other news, Phil Hay update has Leeds fans talking…