Leeds United's potential move for Jaydan Raymond is a sign of the club's growing ambition, according to Noel Whelan.
Phil Hay of The Athletic revealed the news earlier this week that the Whites were in advanced talks with the Crystal Palace starlet over a move.
The 16-year-old has reportedly turned down the offer of a professional deal at Selhurst Park, with Marcelo Bielsa's side swooping to try and secure a move.
Should the deal be completed, Whelan says it would be a real sign of intent and an ideal time for the youngster to make the switch to Elland Road.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan said: "It’s not like he’s going to be going to a small club, he’s going to be going to a very, very big club.
“No disrespect to Crystal Palace, I played at the club for a very short time, it’s a fantastic club but when you look to the magnitude of club, Leeds United dwarf Crystal Palace, even though they’ve been in the Premier League for some time now.
“The pathway is always there for young players, we’ve seen that ever since Neil Redfern was there bringing through the likes of Lewis Cook, it’s always been an opportunity for young players and our academy system is being utilised and used.
“We don’t just bring kids through and not use them, they’re always there and integrated into the first-team because that’s what the academy is all about. He’s obviously looked through the past of Leeds and seen young players are actually given the opportunity.
“What a good time to be maybe considering to move to Leeds.”
GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...
What a coup this would be.
Jaydan Raymond is regarded as an extremely talented young player with the world at his feet.
The fact that Crystal Palace, a Premier League side, are so keen to keep him shows exactly that.
Raymond has aspirations of breaking into the first team game as soon as possible, and it seems that this is why he's not wanting to pen a new deal at Selhurst Park.
Leeds United have a good track record of progressing young players into the first team, and that's exactly what the 16-year-old will be hoping can happen here.
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