By Alex Stevens
Noel Whelan has revealed that he is unconvinced by the merits of Leeds summer midfield signing Matt Grimes.
The on-loan Swansea player, 21, was one of 11 changes made by manager Garry Monk for Tuesday’s 1-0 EFL Cup win over Luton.
Monk completely overhauled the side that beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 in the Championship on Sunday and used a new-look central midfield partnership of Grimes and Luke Murphy.
The only goal of the game was scored by debutant Tyler Denton, the 20-year-old academy graduate and left-back who scored a sensational first-half goal.
“It was a completely different 11, not used to playing together,” Whelan told BBC Radio Leeds in the immediate aftermath of the match. “We lost our spark in the second half and rode our luck a bit a times.
“Denton will be extremely pleased with himself, the debut under his belt, but there’s a few out there I’m not convinced by.
“Grimes is the one I’m least impressed with, Monk knows him, I’ve seen him a couple of times, I’m not sure what he’s bringing to the party.”
Despite the changes rung by the manager, with trio Souleymane Doukara, Marco Silvestri and Luke Murphy brought in from the cold, there was once again no place in the matchday squad for Toumani Diagouraga.
The January signing from Brentford is now behind Liam Bridcutt, Ronaldo Vieira, Kalvin Phillips, Pablo Hernandez, Alex Mowatt, Grimes and Murphy in the battle for the central midfield positions in the Leeds side.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) August 23, 2016
Football website HITC claimed earlier this month that Monk has told Murphy, 26, and Diagouraga, 29, they are not part of his plans and they can find new clubs in the next fortnight before the window shuts.
The report came after Leeds secured the signing of Bridcutt from Sunderland last week following extensive negotiations.
Combative midfielder Diagouraga arrived at Elland Road for £700,000 in January from Brentford, having played 244 times for the Londoners over seven years.
The 29-year-old featured 14 times for Leeds last season after joining the Yorkshire club and has played just once for the team this season, in the opening-day 3-0 league defeat at QPR.
In other Leeds team news, Sky Sports pundit has predicted where Leeds will finish this season.