Jack Harrison is in the Leeds United starting line-up ahead of Helder Costa because of his work ethic, that is according to former player Noel Whelan.
The Manchester City loanee has been an ever-present for the Whites so far this season, starting in all eight of their Championship fixtures.
However, there may be an argument for him to be replaced in the starting 11 by Costa, who has registered one more assist than the Manchester City loanee, as well as being caught offside less on average according to data collected by WhoScored.
One of those calling for Marcelo Bielsa to make the change is Whelan. Indeed, he believes that Costa would offer more guile in front of goal, as well as offering a better delivery into the box from wide positions.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker said: “Costa should be starting ahead of Harrison. Once again at the weekend, Harrison kept hitting the first man all the time with his crosses and deliveries. There is not enough end product from him.
“It’s the wrong way round, with Costa on the bench and Harrison starting. Harrison started the season well and looked really fit, but old habits are creeping back in.
“The real reason he’s getting the nods is his work ethic. Off the ball he’s obviously doing what Bielsa wants. Does Costa have the same work ethic when he’s defending? We haven’t found that out.
“What he has got is a better delivery, he is quicker and cleverer on the ball, and more capable of scoring and creating goals.
“I would love to see him in the team from the start, and see what he has to offer. Get him in. The frustrations of the fans are starting to boil over.”
Frankly, Whelan has a point when he says that the Portuguese should be starting ahead of his teammate.
In eight starts Harrison has managed to score just once and has provided no assists at all, meaning he has had a hand in just 7% of Leeds’ goals this season (Via Transfermarkt).
Compare that to Costa, he has also been involved in 7% of their goals this season with a single assist but crucially he has played just 167 minutes compared to Harrison’s 596.
Added to that, the former Wolves man, who is valued at £13.5 million (by Transfermarkt), also has a proven record in the Championship having netted 15 goals and provided 14 assists during his time with the West Midlands club.
With Harrison struggling to provide much of an attacking threat of late, surely it is about time Bielsa gave Costa the opportunity to start a match and see what he can do.
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