Exclusive: Whelan suggests 'real reason' Bielsa is selecting Harrison ahead of Costa
Marcelo Bielsa is selecting Jack Harrison ahead of Helder Costa at Leeds United because of his ferocious work ethic, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider editor Wayne Veysey, the ex-United forward is convinced that the on-loan Manchester City star’s work off the ball can be the only reason he is getting the nod over the £15million summer signing.
Leeds supporters are getting increasingly vocal about Harrison’s end product and there was intense criticism of him after the team blew a 1-0 lead and a totally dominant performance to draw 1-1 at home to Derby County last Saturday.
The winger, 22, had been named in the United starting XI for the eighth consecutive Championship match of the season, while Costa was once again overlooked.
“Costa should be starting ahead of Harrison,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Once again at the weekend, Harrison kept hitting the first man all the time with his crosses and deliveries. There is not enough end product from him.
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“It’s the wrong way round, with Costa on the bench and Harrison starting. Harrison started the season well and looked really fit, but old habits are creeping back in.
“The real reason he’s getting the nods is his work ethic. Off the ball he’s obviously doing what Bielsa wants. Does Costa have the same work ethic when he’s defending? We haven’t found that out.
“What he has got is a better delivery, he is quicker and cleverer on the ball, and more capable of scoring and creating goals.
“I would love to see him in the team from the start, and see what he has to offer. Get him in. The frustrations of the fans are starting to boil over.”
Harrison has scored just a single goal – in the opening-day win at Stoke City – and supplied no assists for Leeds this season.
By contrast, Costa has scored once and supplied three assists from his 10 matches in all competitions, including eight substitute appearances in the league.
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