Noel Whelan praises Leeds forward Caleb Ekuban after Barnsley win

BARNSLEY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25 Thomas Christiansenmanager of Leeds United looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Barnsley and Leeds United at Oakwell Stadium on November...

Caleb Ekuban started Leeds United's 2-0 Championship win over Barnsley on Saturday.

General view of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on February 25, 2017 in Leeds, England.

Noel Whelan has told BBC Radio Leeds that Caleb Ekuban provided everything that Leeds could want in their striker with his performance in the Whites' win over Barnsley on Saturday.

Ekuban was making his first start for Leeds since August in Thomas Christiansen's side's trip to Oakwell, having spent much of the previous months on the sidelines with injury and making just a couple of substitute appearances in recent times.

BARNSLEY, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25 Thomas Christiansenmanager of Leeds United looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Barnsley and Leeds United at Oakwell Stadium on November...

The forward replaced Kemar Roofe against the Tykes. And although he did not get onto the scoresheet, he gave the Leeds supporters a real glimpse of his quality, making a key impact to help Leeds secure a 2-0 win that gets their play-off push back on track after their disappointing defeat to Wolves in midweek.

And Whelan was full of praise for the 23-year-old, insisting that it was an incredibly encouraging display given that he has not started a game in over three months. 

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

"I thought Ekuban did really well today considering it's his first start after being out for a long, long time," he told BBC Radio Leeds.

"He's still getting his fitness and sharpness back. He did everything you'd want from your striker. He held the ball up when he could, he brought other people into play, but, more importantly, he worked and worked and worked tirelessly to close people down, to win the ball back for Leeds United."

Ekuban did miss a great chance to put the game beyond doubt in the second-half, but his clever movement arguably helped Samuel Saiz as it often left him the kind of space that allowed him the opportunity to punish Barnsley - and he certainly took advantage.

And Christiansen will be hoping that his partnership with Saiz continues to blossom when Ekuban starts in future as it appears - based on the Barnsley result - that they could be a great pairing for the Whites.

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