By Neil Champney

23rd May, 2020 | 9:00pm

'I have no doubt' - Lee Bowyer issues verdict on Leeds promotion hopes

Lee Bowyer has claimed that Leeds United “deserve to be in the Premier League” next season.

The Charlton Athletic manager played for the Whites between 1996 and 2003, and has made it very clear as to just how much he wants to see his old club back in the top flight next term.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men currently sit top of the Championship with nine games remaining, but are still yet to receive any concrete indication on whether or not they will be able complete their campaign on the field amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

But Bowyer is hopeful that they are able to make a long-awaited return to the top flight next term.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “I’m delighted for Leeds and to be fair they deserve to go up, they are the best side in our division.

“I think Leeds deserve to be in the Premier League, and I think the Premier League needs Leeds, needs their support.

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“It’s a great atmosphere and a great ground to play there, so yeah they should be in the Premier League.

“I have no doubt, if we do finish the season I believe they will be in the top two, they’re the best side in the league.”

Bowyer’s current role as the Addicks’ boss has seen him become quite vocal on the matter of promotion and relegation in recent weeks.

While he agrees that the best solution would be to finish the season on the pitch as initially planned, he has also argued that the EFL’s backup option of deciding league standings through a points per game average would be “wrong” and “unfair”.

Clearly, however, that comes into direct conflict with his claim that Leeds deserve to be in the top flight next term.

How can Bowyer claim that we deserve to go up on the merit of our performances this season, and yet oppose a method of promotion that would guarantee us a place in the Premier League on that exact basis?

As nice as it is to hear a former player sing Leeds’ praises like this, you can’t help feeling that he’s being a little hypocritical.

In other Leeds United news, Report – Championship club launch fresh bid to block Whites promotion by opposing EFL restart.