Danny Mills has suggested Helder Costa will have to leave Leeds United for a Championship side if he wants to play regularly.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England and Whites defender insisted the 27-year-old can have little complaint about his lack of game time this season.
Football Insider revealed last week the Yorkshire giants are willing to listen to offers for the one-time Portugal international in the summer.
Costa has started just 10 Premier League games with summer signing Raphinha establishing himself as Marcelo Bielsa’s first-choice left-winger.
“He’ll be disappointed with the lack of minutes that he’s had this season,” Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“But you’ve had other players come in and perform. Sometimes you have to accept that and there’s not an awful lot you can do about that at time. It is what it is.
“If you’re not playing and don’t deserve to be in the team, you’re not going to be in the team.
“This is one of the reasons he wasn’t in the team at Wolves, perhaps. You have no given right to be in the team.
“Players can’t moan too much and get on with it, accept what it is and it’s not personal, in any way shape or form.
“If they can offload and someone takes a chance. He might have to take a step down to the Championship potentially.
“I’ve always said players want to play. That’s the most important thing. They want to play regularly.”
Costa moved to Elland Road on loan from Wolves at the beginning of last season before the move became permanent for £15million last year.
He has scored seven goals and provided 11 assists in 66 games for the Yorkshire giants.