Noel Whelan believes Leeds have the upper hand in the race for Liverpool’s Ryan Kent, he told Football Insider.
Marcelo Bielsa is thought to be very keen on the 22-year-old and missed the start of Leeds’ pre-season tour of Australia in order to watch him play against Bradford City on Sunday.
Rangers are also very interested in taking him back on loan for a second spell after he impressed at Ibrox last season.
However, Whelan believes Leeds is the more persuasive destination for the winger, as they have more to offer than the Glasgow club.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “At both Leeds and Rangers, he would be a standout player. He has had a year at Rangers and developed well, but the Championship is a bigger challenge than the SPL.
“Leeds are a very attractive proposition to Kent. He would be playing with top players like Helder Costa and in front of huge, passionate crowds where every match matters. Leeds are a special club and capable of attracting special players.”
Kent has already experienced what Rangers has to offer, and he may feel that he needs to experience a different environment in order to develop further.
With Leeds aiming for promotion he has the opportunity to be part of something very special, and that could motivate him to join Bielsa’s side.
Both clubs are a very attractive proposition for a player like Kent. He will be buoyed by the fact Rangers want him again, as it shows an esteemed figure like Steven Gerrard believes in him, and that confidence would serve him well next season.
Comparatively, at Leeds he may not get the same love from a sometimes icy Bielsa, and he is not guaranteed a starting position given the squad’s strength in depth in his position.
However, he is capable of cementing a position in the starting line-up and he should impress in the Championship. Bielsa has shown he improves players and playing at a higher standard should serve him well.
Like Whelan says, Leeds is a great club to play for and their fans are brilliant, so that could be enough for him to make the move to Yorkshire.