Exclusive: Whelan claims Leeds player unhappy with Bielsa

Noel Whelan says that Leeds United player Tyler Roberts looked “miffed” with Marcelo Bielsa after being substituted against West Brom on Tuesday evening.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker and lifelong fan of the club said that being replaced by Luke Ayling with 15 minutes to play, having already been brought on as a substitute, was a bitter pill to swallow for the 20-year-old.

Roberts had come on at half-time to take Jamie Shackleton’s place but lasted just half an hour before being hooked by Bielsa on the way to a 1-0 win over the Baggies.

Whelan, who was at Elland Road on Tuesday night, says that the versatile attacker did not look best pleased with his manager and admits he sympathises with the youngster over the difficult situation.

Whelan told Football Insider: “West Brom’s substitutes had a little bit more energy about them, they were finding space, causing us problems and that was what was keeping the pressure on our back line.

“I think we needed a little bit of defensive ability which is why Stuart (Dallas) moved into that area, Tyler had to come off – it’s never nice to be sub-subbed, we saw it last year with Kalvin Phillips.

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“You’d like to think, even though when I saw Tyler coming off he did look a little bit miffed, it’s for the good of the side. Like Kalvin last year, he has to swallow that pill, it’s not a nice thing to swallow. He needs to get on with it because it’s for the good of the team.” 

Roberts was making just his second appearance of the season against West Brom after two unused substitute outings earlier in the campaign, having replaced Patrick Bamford against Charlton the week before.

He has 31 games under his belt for Leeds, Bielsa using him in a variety of roles across the attack and midfield.

In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can reveal that a new deal is close at Elland Road after terms were agreed by the Whites.