By Alex McLeish

1st Oct, 2021 | 6:00pm

Ex-manager makes 'nightmare' claim after Raphinha injury twist at Leeds

Alex McLeish has claimed Leeds United have avoided a “nightmare” scenario with Raphinha available against Watford this weekend.

The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted losing the 25-year-old for any amount of time would be a big blow for the Whites.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference (30th September), Marcelo Bielsa confirmed Raphinha would be available for Watford’s visit to Elland Road.

As quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post last weekend (25th September), Bielsa revealed the Brazilian winger found it “difficult to stay on the pitch” against West Ham.

He suffered a knock to the hip in the draw with Newcastle which has troubled him since.

McLeish admitted “alarm bells” would have been ringing at Elland Road over their attacking talisman.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

He suggested there would be a sense of relief at the Yorkshire giants after Bielsa’s update.

“I would certainly be ringing the alarm bells as well if Raphinha’s not going to be there,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“He’s a guy who, as we saw last week in the defeat to West Ham, how much he can bring in certain moments.

“Leeds are stuttering a little bit and to lose one of their best creative players would be a wee bit of a nightmare for them.

“Last year we saw results up and down. Now we’ve seen a couple of defeats in a row.

“You just don’t want them to get into a rut of a lack of picking up points.”

Diego Llorente is also available for Saturday’s clash after his own injury layoff.

However, Patrick Bamford and Robin Koch will both miss out again.

In other news, injury expert tells Leeds United fans to pray for senior star after update.