Rodrigo, who Leeds splashed the cash to sign from Valencia during the recent transfer window, started on the bench in the Whites’ 0-0 draw at Elland Road against Arsenal on Sunday.
Bielsa threw him on in the 70th minute of the Premier League encounter as the Whites looked for a vital goal and Rodrigo looked a threat.
Whelan thinks what Rodrigo showed in his 20-minute outing has put forward a strong case for a starting spot at Everton, with the former Leeds man convinced that if he is fit, Bielsa must play him.
“I think the big [selection question] is Rodrigo”, Whelan said on BBC Radio Leeds post match.
“After that 20 minute cameo, coming on and being lively, sharp and threatening going forward, and hitting the crossbar with a beautiful left-footed curl from outside the box, you’ve got to think about playing him.
“You really do. You need your flair players, your creative players and he is our record signing.
“If he is fit enough he’s got to play, it’s as simple as that.”
It remains to be seen whether Bielsa will include Rodrigo in his starting eleven at Goodison Park as Leeds look to get back to winning ways after failing to taste victory in their last three matches.