Darren Bent has warned Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa that he needs to start using Eddie Nketiah and Helder Costa on a more regular basis or face them facing a mental battle.
The former Aston Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the attacking duo, who were both brought to Elland Road this summer, will be knocking on the door of the Argentine manager in a hunt for more game time.
Costa has appeared in all five Championship games as a substitute, totalling just 91 minutes, while Nketiah has 59 minutes in three substitute outings, netting one goal.
Bent insists that the duo, who are on loan from Wolves and Arsenal respectively, are going to be looking to get into the starting XI sooner rather than later and that Bielsa has to be wary of letting them sit on the sidelines for too long.
Bent told Football Insider: “They’re definitely going to be knocking on his door and they’re going to be asking questions sooner or later. What you don’t want to happen is, yeah, they want to play but they’re not using them enough, they lose their heads and mentally, they’re gone.
“When they do get the opportunity, they’re not ready for it. He needs to have a look at it, give one or two of them the opportunity after the international break and start again.
“You don’t want to get to the point where you’ve got Helder Costa and Eddie Nketiah going: ‘When am I going to play, when am I going to play?’ that eventually their heads are gone when they do get the opportunity.”
Leeds saw their unbeaten record to the Championship campaign come to an end against Swansea City on Saturday, Wayne Routledge netting the only goal of the game to seal victory for the Swans.
It was a game the Whites had dominated in terms of possession and shots, having 62 per cent of the ball and 21 efforts – although only three were on target.