Noel Whelan has suggested Marcelo Bielsa could hand Joe Gelhardt a surprise start for Leeds United against Wolves.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider’s Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker claimed that with Rodrigo set to lead the line, the 19-year-old could rival Raphinha for the number 10 role.
As confirmed by Marcelo Bielsa at his pre-match press conference, Raphinha is available for selection again after sitting out the Southampton defeat.
🎙️ Marcelo on team news: “Raphinha has acclimatised back to the team. Ayling and Bamford are not going to be here for next two games, and Koch still has at least one month to go.” pic.twitter.com/svkPSDMJR7— Leeds United (@LUFC) October 21, 2021
The Brazilian winger missed the 1-0 loss due to his last-minute return from international commitments.
However, Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling, Robin Koch and Junior Firpo will all miss out against Wolves.
Versatile forward Rodrigo has started as a striker in Bamford’s absence.
Meanwhile, Tyler Roberts started against Southampton in the number 10 role.
However, Whelan suggested Raphinha or Gelhardt could take his place.
“It’s your dilemma of who do you play as your number 10?” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.
“If Rodrigo’s going to be playing further forwards do you go for Gelhardt, bring him in at home? Try and surprise Wolves with a player they don’t know anything about?
“Or do you move Raphinha into a number 10, give him the opportunity to showcase his skills? That leaves you still with two out and out wingers in Dan James and Harrison.
“So we have options. That would look quite appetising to me, having Raphinha as a number 10. Dan James on one side, Harrison and Rodrigo too.
“But it’s not about the personnel sometimes. It’s about how you play and how you go about your business.”
Gelhardt is yet to start a game for Leeds but has two substitute appearances so far.
He made his Premier League debut off the bench against Southampton.
In other news, Whelan admits his “biggest fears” have come true at Leeds United.