Noel Whelan has tipped Raphinha to return from injury for Leeds United this weekend at the expense of Helder Costa.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites striker revealed he is “desperate” for Raphinha to return having been less than impressed with Costa’s performances this month.

Raphinha has missed Marcelo Bielsa’s side’s last two fixtures through injury, with Costa selected to operate from the right-flank in his absence.

The Portuguese attacker touched the ball just 19 times against Manchester United on Sunday before being withdrawn after a challenge with Aaron Wan-Bissaka. (Sofascore)

Whelan, who was at the game commentating for BBC Radio Leeds, believes Costa has suffered a back or hip injury.

“It was a strong challenge but fair challenge from Wan-Bissaka,” he told Football Insider.

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“It was not the challenge itself that was the problem it was the way that he fell. I think it will be a hip or a back injury.

“I’m desperate for Raphinha to come back in against Brighton though and I expect him to do so.

“Injury aside, Costa is still not giving me what I need from him. He is behind Poveda in my opinion.

“Yes, Costa works hard but at the end of the day he is a winger. I need to see more bravery and desire on the ball from him. I cannot remember the last time he had the ball, beat someone, got to the byline and got a cross in and that is not good enough.

Leeds United winger Helder Costa

“Perhaps it is a lack of confidence, I do not know.

“He must be one of the most frustrating players a manager could ever ask for. He has all of this pace, ability and talent but he does not use or show it.”  

In other news, a pundit claims Leeds United can use Radrizzani’s ‘good friendship’ with a European owner to get ‘first option’ on a £31million star.