Noel Whelan was left scratching his head after Ian Poveda finished his second game running on the bench as Leeds United lost 1-0 to Wigan Athletic.
The ex-Elland Road striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, questioned Marcelo Bielsa’s “ridiculous” decision to leave the winger on the bench in what he saw as the “perfect opportunity” for his debut.
The 19-year-old officially joined the Whites from Premier League Champions Manchester City in January but is yet to make his first-team debut.
Poveda was an unused substitute in United’s loss to the Latics on Saturday, as Marcelo Bielsa only elected to use one of his three substitutions.
When asked if he was surprised that the teenager did not make his debut, Whelan told Football Insider: “We are 1-0 down against Wigan, we are looking and crying out for something a bit different.
“Costa was not having the best of games. It would have been the perfect opportunity to bring Poveda on. Something fresh, something different. It would have lifted the spirits, lifted the crowd, lifted the atmosphere but not used. I cannot get my head around it.
“The biggest one was obviously Augustin not being on the bench. It is just ridiculous. The best way for any player to get settled into a club is to get right into it. Wigan at home, to showcase him to the fans.
“Did they think they were going to win that comfortably? Because that is not Championship football.”
Fellow new arrival Jean-Kevin Augustin was not even involved in the matchday squad as he watched on from the stands at Elland Road.
Poveda has shown significant international pedigree having represented England at every youth level from Under-16s to Under-20s.
In other Leeds United news, Kevin Phillips makes a big prediction on Marcelo Bielsa’s future.