Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa

Kevin Phillips has urged Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa to start record signing Rodrigo over Patrick Bamford in the club’s opening Premier League game away to Liverpool.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former European golden shoe winner said he expects Bielsa to be loyal to Bamford meaning Rodrigo would start on the bench.

Rodrigo joined the club in a record deal totalling £48million last month but only joined up with his new teammates this week after being away with Spain on international duty.

Football Insider revealed that it looks likely the 29-year-old will not start Saturday’s game after he led the line for the under 23s in a specially arranged friendly against a ‘first XI’ selected by Bielsa at Thorp Arch.

Asked by Football Insider who he expects to start up front against Liverpool, Phillips said: “It wouldn’t surprise me if he started Bamford.

“That’s one of the biggest thing in football that frustrates me. It’s not as though he’s come in today, he’s been in there for a bit, he’s worked with the payers, he knows the players now.

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“For me, he starts.

“Why pay all that money for a player and start him on the bench and ease him in? He’s ready, he’ll be hungry.

“Unfortunately someone has to miss out and it looks like it could be Bamford.

“But then again it wouldn’t surprise me, being loyal, he could give him an opportunity. 

“Nobody will give Leeds a hope in hells chance up at Liverpool so he might just go with Bamford.

“They’ll be at home the next game and they could unleash him (Rodrigo) then. Managers sometimes approach games like that. It will be interesting to see.

“In terms of the striker, I would go with the new guy straight away.”

In other news, Football Insider can REVEAL Leeds United are confident of completing two new signings in the imminent days after offer accepted.