Marcelo Bielsa may have put Kiko Casilla in the shop window ahead of a summer sale after a surprise return to the Leeds United starting XI.
That is the view of former Leeds striker Noel Whelan who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, also suggested the Argentine may be trying to convince supporters of the 34-year-old’s worth at Elland Road.
As quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Bielsa revealed Casilla would start Sunday’s season-ending clash against West Brom.
The shot-stopper also made a surprise start ahead of Illan Meslier in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Southampton.
Whelan applauded the Spaniard’s performance against the Saints after a lack of game time this term.
However, he suggested there were ulterior motives behind his recall.
Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “So why is he in? Well, is he putting him in the shop window and giving him these two games?
“Is he trying to convince the fans that he belongs at the club and he can still stay at the club? There’s two different ways of looking at this. It’s a decision that Marcelo Bielsa has made for his own personal reasons. I’m not sure he’s going to come out and tell us why.
“They’re the only two reasons I can think of. Is he putting him in the shop window? Saying and showing that he’s still a good keeper and he can do his services elsewhere. Or is he just letting the fans know that he’s still here and he will be here as a good number two?
“He made some great saves early on in the game (v Southampton). I think there was a barrage of five to eight minutes where he was needed. He held his own between the sticks.
“Any keeper that comes in, keeps a clean sheet in a winning team, you’ve got no complaints. He does have a purpose at a club.”
Casilla, who has two more years remaining on a deal Football Insider understands is worth £40,000-a-week, has played just four times across all competitions for Leeds this season.
His only other league appearance came when Meslier was ruled out through illness in January.
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