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Leeds United reportedly targeting Crusaders winger Gavin Whyte

Whyte previously called Leeds winger Stuart Dallas “an inspiration”

Northern Ireland v Russia - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Leeds United have been linked with a few players in this transfer season already, and with the season starting to wind down, there will be a few more links start to pop out of the woodwork.

During last year’s summer transfer window, Leeds made a number of deals for overseas players, seeming to ignore the domestic market for financial reasons, as the prices for domestic or England-based players often made them too steep for a club on a budget like Leeds to afford.

However, as poor as the recruitment of the first-team players has been at Leeds so far, the youth players the club have brought in have been great. Oriol Rey, Alex Machuca, Jordan Stevens, Sam Dalby, Adrian Balboa, and Madger Gomes all played in today’s U23 4-0 win over Bristol City.

Leeds have also reportedly forged a partnership with Northern Ireland Football League Premiership club Glenavon, and while the club has reportedly started to make an effort to recruit local English talent, could the club’s scouts also be focused on Northern Ireland?

In an article about a recent match between two of the larger clubs in Northern Ireland, Crusaders and Cliftonville, the Belfast Telegraph mentioned that Gavin Whyte was a target of Leeds United.

Whyte has appeared 38 times for Crusaders this season, and has scored an eye-popping 22 goals to go with 8 assists. He was profiled briefly by the Belfast Telegraph back in March after being named to the Northern Ireland U21 squad, where was teammates with Leeds keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell. He expressed his admiration for current Leeds winger Stuart Dallas, saying:

I see a player like Stuart Dallas as an inspiration.

Everyone talks about Stuart at the Crues and what he has achieved. Some people have said to me that I could follow in his footsteps. He has been brilliant going to Brentford and then he got his big move to Leeds, so that is inspiring.

As a kid I always wanted to play in England or Scotland and in full-time football. I’m happy playing at Crusaders because I’m enjoying it there, but I would like to get the chance to go across the water. We’ll see what happens, I’ll keep working and try and get that opportunity.

So does this mean that Whyte is bound for a chance to impress at Leeds? Whyte is only 22 years-old, and with the effort on bringing in young talent and developing them seen as a key part of the strategy at Leeds, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see him brought over. However, given that the only “link” is an article saying he admires a current Leeds player, it’s shaky right now. Not the most absurd transfer rumour you’ll see this season, but not the most concrete either.