The Chile midfielder is proving himself one of the signings of the season.
Whittingham said: "I love playing alongside Gary. He's great for me.
"We both like to get on the ball - and we like to keep it for our team. I felt comfortable having him close to me during the win against Swansea - an absolute pleasure. He is pure gold.
"Gary and I train together every day. He just wants to get on the ball and pass.
"It's probably a thankless job he does, sitting in front of the back four and breaking up play. His value to us is unbelievable. He keeps the game ticking over and calms things down."
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