Kevin Phillips has heaped praise on Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa for his decision to give Kiko Casilla a chance in the final two games of the season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Sunderland and England striker claimed the move is “really clever” from Bielsa with his side not having “an awful lot to play for”.
As quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Bielsa revealed Casilla, 34, will start the final fixture of the 2020-21 campaign against West Brom today.
The Spanish goalkeeper made just his second Premier League appearance against Southampton in midweek and kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory on the south coast.
This site revealed last month that Leeds are willing to let Casilla go for nothing this summer as they look to get his £40,000-a-week wages off their books.
When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs for his thoughts on Casilla’s selection, Phillips said:
“Leeds have not got an awful lot to play for so Bielsa is probably giving Casilla a chance with one eye on next season. Maybe he is confirming what he does and what he doesn’t know.
“There is a core group of players at Leeds who have played a hell of a lot of games. This way he can give them a rest while checking some of the fringe players out. It is important to given people a rest.
“I think it’s a really clever move from Bielsa to be honest. It keeps fringe players happy while preventing your key players from getting injured ahead of the summer.”