Marcelo Bielsa dropped a strong hint at the Leeds United training ground that club-record signing Rodrigo Moreno will be omitted from the starting XI v Liverpool on Saturday, Football Insider can reveal.
The United manager lined the first team up against the Under-23s in a specially-arranged match at Thorp Arch yesterday.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Patrick Bamford started up front for what was effectively the first-choice XI and Rodrigo led the line for the Under-23s.
This strongly suggested that Bielsa is not planning to start the Spain international striker in the Premier League opener at Anfield on Saturday evening.
That may be regarded as a surprise in some quarters given Leeds shelled out an initial £27m to Valencia for the services of proven front man Rodrigo.
Bamford, by contrast, was the subject of regular criticism from fans last season for regularly missed golden scoring chances.
The Argentine gave no clues about his possible line-up at his pre-match media conference today.
Bielsa explained that he had all his players available for selection, except for long-term absentee Adam Forshaw.
The manager did not give anything away about his starting XI, as he often did when Leeds were in the Championship, but he did confirm big-money new signings Rodrigo and Robin Koch were “in great physical condition. Ready to play.”
Football Insider broke the news early on Tuesday that Bielsa had pulled the Under-23s out of Leeds’ EFL Trophy that tonight and insisted the club field a team made up of Under-18s.
Bielsa’s priority this week has been getting his first team in top shape for the weekend’s mouthwatering opener against Jurgen Klopp’s champions.