Whelan Exclusive: Bielsa told to hand Leeds player debut after starting XI training hint
Noel Whelan has urged Marcelo Bielsa to name Rodrigo Moreno among the Leeds United starting XI for Saturday’s clash against Liverpool.
The former Leeds striker and boyhood fan of the Whites, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes that the Spanish forward could play alongside, rather than instead of, Patrick Bamford in attack.
As revealed by Football Insider, the 29-year-old started among the under-23s in a training ground friendly against what was effectively a first-choice starting XI.
Bamford led the line for the senior side in what represent a big Bielsa team selection hint ahead of Saturday’s clash with Liverpool.
However, Whelan believes that the club’s new record signing has to be named among the starting XI at Anfield and suggests he could play in an attacking midfield role rather than as a centre-forward.
Asked what he thought of Rodrigo potentially starting on the bench, Whelan told Football Insider: “We could look into it that way but there is the capability of them playing in the same side with Rodrigo playing just off Patrick Bamford in that number 10 role.
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“You could then play Pablo Hernandez in a wide-right role with Jack Harrison playing on the left. There’s many variations that could happen with the game at Anfield.
“In my opinion, you’ve got play Rodrigo, you’ve got to play your summer signing, your blockbuster signing against the Premier League champions. That might free up that role to play along the line.
“I think Rodrigo, because he’s not been a prolific scorer, he’s a very intelligent football player and maybe that number 10 would suit him that little bit better against that Liverpool outfit.”
Bamford kept the likes of loan signings Eddie Nketiah and Jean-Kevin Augustin out of the starting XI for nearly every Championship game last season.
He missed just one match on the way to the second-tier title and of his 45 appearances, all but two came as starts.