Whelan baffled by Bielsa's Rodrigo decision ahead of Leeds v Chelsea

Noel Whelan has urged Marcelo Bielsa to bring Rodrigo Moreno back into the Leeds United starting XI versus Chelsea after snubbing him against West Ham.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he was baffled to see the 30-year-old named on the bench against the Hammers.

Speaking at his press conference on Thursday, Bielsa confirmed Rodrigo had come through Monday’s 2-0 defeat with no ill effects after his groin injury.

The Spaniard missed six games but came off the bench to play 30 minutes against the Irons.

Rodrigo had stepped up his recovery with 45 minutes and two goals in the under-23s’ game versus Wolves.

Now Whelan has insisted the Spaniard needs to return to the side against Chelsea.

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“I would love him to be included,” Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.

“I was very surprised he wasn’t against West Ham, honestly. Kalvin (Phillips) didn’t play any under-23 games and went straight back in. Rodrigo player 45 minutes, scored two goals and he was sitting on the bench. I was a little bit confused about that.

“We’re in the business of winning games and to play your strongest side. If he’s available, then that’s part of the piece that makes you a stronger side, with Rodrigo in it.

“Yes, I’d like to see full strength, as much as possible, against Chelsea. We need to win a game of football against a very good, organised, strong Chelsea outfit.”

Rodrigo has played 21 times and scored three goals for Leeds since joining from Valencia last summer.

Tyler Roberts has taken his place in the starting XI for the last four games.

In other news, a top pundit claims it could be a month until Kalvin Phillips is fully fit for Leeds United.