Noel Whelan has insisted Helder Costa deserved to be omitted from the Leeds United squad against Newcastle United after his poor form.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker and boyhood Whites fan ripped into the winger’s performance against West Ham and admitted it was no surprise to see him snubbed on Wednesday night.
Speaking after the 5-2 win, as quoted by Leeds Live, Bielsa revealed the 26-year-old had not picked up any sort of injury and was left out of the squad on selection reasons alone.
Pablo Hernandez, who was left unused against the Irons, was used as an impact substitute versus Newcastle and stamped his mark on the game with two assists.
Whelan has insisted the gulf in quality between the attacking pair was clear to see and that Costa has got a long way to go before getting back into the side.
Whelan told Football Insider: “He hasn’t delivered, that’s for sure. He came on for 45 minutes against West Ham and you see the contrast in making substitutions.
“Shackleton came on, I thought he did very well – he was pushing, he was probing, he was trying. Hernandez the other night, came on, made a difference. That is what you want from substitutions, you want to see an improvement on the player you’ve taken off.
“Costa came on and did absolutely zip, absolutely nothing, he was woeful against West Ham and rightly so he’s not in the squad – I don’t care if you cost £17million, £20million, £100million.
“You’ve seen it with Pogba – if you’re not delivering, and you haven’t got the right attitude and you’re not contributing and other people are on the training ground and pushing and working hard, you ain’t getting in the squad. Marcelo Bielsa is not a manager who’s soft.
“He will make these tough decisions, and he made one the other night and I don’t think anybody, between me, the fans, the players, would grumble at that decision, he’s not really produced the past two months.”