Paul Robinson claims Raphinha should start for Leeds United on Sunday as the Whites take on Manchester United at Elland Road.
Raphinha, 24, missed out on Monday’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool due to injury and ahead of playing Man United this weekend, Marcelo Bielsa confirmed that the Brazilian is yet to return to training [LeedsLive].
It means he’s a big doubt to play against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s in-form side but Robinson still feels as though he could start, potentially in place of Helder Costa.
Speaking to MOT Leeds News, Robinson said: “I think Raphinha comes straight back in regardless of who took his place and how well he’s done.
“Raphinha’s been excellent this season, he should be getting a new contract and the team should be built around players like that.”
Robinson has also thrown into question who should start in the centre-back positions on Sunday with Robin Koch back from injury and Liam Cooper suspended.
Pascal Struijk started alongside goalscorer Diego Llorente against Liverpool and although Robinson feels Bielsa could make a change there, he feels the Argentine may opt to stick rather than twist.
The ex-goalkeeper added: “An interesting one for me would be the decision on who plays at the back alongside Llorente, if it’s Robin Koch or Struijk. Struijk did very well [versus Liverpool] and he could keep with the team that plays well. I think it will probably be Llorente and Struijk again.”
Koch has played three times since returning from a long spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.
He came on for a matter of seconds in wins over Fulham and Sheffield United before playing around half an hour in the 2-1 win at Manchester City.
The German was an unused substitute against Liverpool on Monday. We’ll see if he was being rested ahead of a start this weekend or whether Bielsa trusts Struijk more than him at the moment.
In other Leeds United news, this 29-year-old is unlikely to play for us again after what Bielsa said on Friday.