By Mark Smith

14th Dec, 2019 | 7:00am

56y/o manager heaps praise on 'valuable' Leeds-linked midfielder

With the January transfer window approaching, Leeds United may need to strengthen a couple of areas to reinforce their promotion push.

Injuries haven’t played as big of a factor this year compared to last, although there are still a couple of areas of concern.

The heart of midfield is one of those. Ben White was recently forced to play there after Kalvin Phillips’ suspension, with Adam Forshaw and Jamie Shackleton still injured.

Football Insider recently reported that the Whites were tracking the progress of Reading midfielder Andy Rinomhota ahead of a potential January move.

Royals boss Mark Bowen has recently heaped praise on the 22-year-old, claiming that Leeds’ reported interest proves how well he has been doing.

“Andy’s thought of as a valuable team and squad member so full credit to him,” he said, via the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“He has come up through our academy and has established himself now with teams like Leeds talking about him.”

Many believed that the 56-year-old controversially appointed himself at the Madejski Stadium, after moving from his Sporting Director role to take charge of the club.

The praise from Bowen clearly shows how Victor Orta is spot on to target the Leeds-born midfielder, who could add much-needed strength in depth at Elland Road for the second half of the season.

Rinomhota has been one of the Royals’ standout performers in the past couple of seasons, winning their Player of the Year award at the end of the last campaign.

With recent weeks proving that Leeds could be light for options in the middle of the park, Leeds shouldn’t think twice before making a move for Rinomhota.

The midfielder currently has a contract that runs until 2022.

In other Leeds United news, ‘I think…’ – Phil Hay delivers verdict on Bielsa future at Leeds