Bielsa tipped to 'throw' unseen Leeds player into starting XI v Liverpool after Raphinha latest
Raphinha’s absence against Liverpool could be a “blessing in disguise” for Leeds United, according to Danny Mills.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Whites and England defender tipped Marcelo Bielsa to hand Dan James his full debut at Elland Road on Sunday if Raphinha is unavailable.
Leeds Live reported on September 7 that the winger will not be able to feature after FIFA enforced a five-day ban.
He earned his first call up to the Brazil squad last month but did not travel to South America as he would have had to quarantine when he returned to the UK.
That would mean he would miss this weekend’s game so instead, it is claimed the club blocked him from going.
However, Raphinha and three Liverpool players could now miss the game.
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James moved to Leeds on deadline day and Mills has claimed Bielsa may be “forced” into putting him straight into his starting XI.
He told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “These clubs must have known this was going to be the case.
“They would have spoken to the players, had dialogue with the different federations going through the protocol.
“It’s one player for one game, you can deal with that. You’ve got Dan James to come in, that could be quite an easy swap.
“Liverpool’s going to be a tough game, anyhow. Even at home, it’s not going to be easy.
“You’re not happy with it, but you deal with it.
“We’re not sure when he came back from Wales duty and how much Bielsa has seen of him.
“We know Bielsa is like, he can be a little bit fussy with new signings.
“But what we do know is Dan James is very fit, he’s very athletic. Maybe this time around he might be forced to throw him in because of the Raphinha situation.
“It would be unlike Bielsa but in one way that could be a blessing in disguise.”