By Noel Whelan

24th Sep, 2021 | 5:00pm

Whelan tells Bielsa to axe Roberts v West Ham after early Leeds team news

Noel Whelan has urged Marcelo Bielsa to start Rodrigo Moreno as Patrick Bamford’s replacement for Leeds United against West Ham on Saturday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker suggested the Spaniard’s “intelligence” should get him the nod ahead of Tyler Roberts.

As confirmed by Bielsa on Thursday (23rd September), Bamford will sit out Saturday’s clash with an ankle injury.

He also missed the League Cup win over Fulham in midweek.

Wales international Roberts led the line against the Cottagers, with Rodrigo handed an attacking midfield role.

The 30-year-old played the full 120 minutes as the Whites came out victorious in a penalty shoot-out.

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With Bamford still missing, Whelan suggested Bielsa could drop Roberts to play Rodrigo through the middle.

“Rodrigo, the other night, I did enjoy him getting on the ball,” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“He tried to be industrious, made some great chances, very clever with that intelligence he’s got.

“For me, I would probably play Rodrigo through the middle. I think he’s got the right attributes, he can hold the ball up.

“He can drop into number 10 as well as long as somebody’s going beyond him as well.

“I think he’s probably a more normal number nine choice for a game of this magnitude.”

Rodrigo played as a striker in Leeds’ League Cup win over Crewe Alexandra.

However, he has been used primarily as an attacking midfielder in the Premier League.

The Spaniard is yet to contribute a goal or an assist in six appearances for the Whites this term.

In other news, Danny Mills claims Leeds United fans should be buzzing over youngster after what he has seen.