By Noel Whelan

15th Feb, 2020 | 11:00am

'He's miles off' - Whelan rips into Leeds outfield player after Bielsa team news reveal

Noel Whelan has ripped into Leeds United striker Jean-Kevin Augustin after Marcelo Bielsa confirmed Patrick Bamford would continue to lead the line against Bristol City.

The former Leeds hitman and lifelong supporter of the club, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the Argentine boss has no choice but to keep faith with the former Boro man due to the fitness levels of the new arrival.

As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, the Frenchman is getting close to the required fitness levels after an extensive training programme at Thorp Arch, Bielsa having commented on how far off he was when he first arrived.

However, with Bielsa confirming that Bamford is once again going to start in Saturday’s clash against Bristol City, Whelan has torn into Augustin by insisting he has given the boss no choice.

“That’s why he keeps his place, we’ve gone and got a player on loan from Monaco that’s not fit,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“You don’t have a great deal of choice. The one thing that Marcelo Bielsa said before he signed anybody is that he’s got to be ready to go straight in and play and on this occasion, we’ve gone out and got a striker who’s played three games in eight months.

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“He’s not fit, a little bit overweight, he’s going through a pre-season again. We’ll only see him in dribs and drabs until he gets up to speed. Marcelo said that they have to be up to speed. He isn’t, he’s miles off.”

Bamford has scored 12 goals in the Championship this season but has gone on long stretches without finding the back of the net.

Liam Cooper netted the Whites’ last goal, taking advantage of some poor goalkeeping in the 1-1 draw against Brentford in midweek.

In other Leeds United news, Alex Bruce has questioned whether one player has a “toxic” attitude at Elland Road.