By Kevin Phillips

10th Sep, 2021 | 12:00pm

Phillips tips 'perfect' James to start for Leeds v Liverpool after BBC update

Kevin Phillips is tipping Dan James to be handed his Leeds United debut against Liverpool on Sunday.

The Sunderland legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, reacted to the latest on Whites winger Raphinha.

Leeds refused to release Raphinha to Brazil for this month’s World Cup qualifiers.

This was due to current coronavirus rules and the fact many players would have to isolate for 10 days on their return to the UK.

In response, as reported by BBC Sport, FIFA have banned some Brazilian Premier League stars, including the Leeds man, from playing in this weekend’s round of fixtures.

Phillips insists Marcelo Bielsa will simply replace Raphinha with new signing Dan James in a straight swap.

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“It’s a straight swap isn’t it,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

“If Raphinha was there, would he play them both together? Only Bielsa knows that.

“I was reading James’ comments through the week. He was saying he can’t wait to get going and that he feels he’s in the right place.

“He’s desperate to hit the ground running. It could be the perfect opportunity for him to go out there.

“Actions speak louder than words, go out there and show everyone what you are all about.

“Raphinha is a good player and he will be missed but you have £25million Dan James there.

“He will be hoping to show the form he found at the start of his Manchester United career. He can be amazing on his day.”

Leeds confirmed on deadline day they had completed the signing of James, 23, as he penned a five-year deal.

He moves to Elland Road after almost signing for the club two years ago.

In other news, Leeds United in behind-the-scenes talks to sign player ‘desperate’ to join.