Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa may have “had words” with his goalkeeper Illan Meslier at half-time in their victory over Burnley on Saturday. 

That is according to ex-Elland Road man Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Leeds triumphed 4-0 at Turf Moor.

After the match, reporters observed that Meslier had continually played the ball long in the first half and asked Bielsa whether this instruction had come from him.

“No, and as a result none of those attacks prospered,” the Argentine responded curtly.

Whelan claims that the manager may have expressed his frustration with the 21-year-old Frenchman at half-time.

“Possibly he could have had words with him at half-time,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

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“But sometimes you’ve got to go long. Sometimes we play too much at the back at the wrong times.

“I don’t mind the ball going longer if it’s a proper ball into a striker’s chest. But against Tarkowski and Ben Mee, you’re going to lose those aerial battles nine times out of 10.

“I think he [Bielsa] probably did have a point but you’ve got to give credit to the young man for taking ownership of the situation and saying: ‘You know what, I’m going to go long here’.

“If you go long you’ve got to make sure you win the second balls and keep on top of the game in that manner. I think we enjoy that side of the game now.”

Meslier signed for Leeds permanently in the summer after spending the season on loan in 2019-20.

He has since usurped Kiko Casilla as Leeds’ first-choice shot-stopper.

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