Leeds United winger Raphinha has been praised for his call to be substituted against West Ham United last weekend by injury expert Ben Dinnery.
The Lowdown: Injury setback
The Brazilian winger picked up a hip injury in the 1-1 draw at Newcastle United two weeks ago and was a doubt for the defeat to David Moyes’ side last Saturday, but he lasted 70 minutes and opened the scoring with a brilliant left-footed strike.
Following the game, Bielsa claimed that the 24-year-old made it known it was becoming difficult to continue and the Leeds manager duly replaced him with Tyler Roberts.
The Latest: Right call
Speaking to Football Insider, injury expert Dinnery has insisted that Raphinha made the right decision to alert the Leeds backroom staff that he wasn’t right to continue.
He said of the White winger: “It’s the right thing to do, absolutely. If you aren’t feeling 100 per cent, do you push on and risk potentially suffering a more serious setback?
“Or do you do the sensible thing and flag that to the medical team and ask to be removed.
“We know Raphinha had problems going into the Newcastle game. There were question marks about whether he would be involved at all.
“He had missed large parts of training due to what Marcelo Bielsa referred to as a ‘hip issue’.
“if he isn’t getting those sessions in on the training pitch, fatigue could be a factor.”
Who should play on the right in Raphinha's absence?
The Verdict: Important for Leeds
With Leeds in the relegation zone in the Premier League and one of five teams without a win in the top flight, having Raphinha fit will be vital for their upcoming games against Watford, Southampton and Wolves.
Last season, the winger created 12 big chances and completed 21.1 passes (72%) and 1.9 dribbles per game in his first season in England (Sofascore), highlighting the importance of his contribution and availability to Bielsa.
If Leeds are to exit their current rut, they will need Raphinha to keep hitting the heights that he has done so far at Elland Road. Dinnery is right to praise the 24-year-old for admitting that he had to come off last week, as playing on could have further aggravated the injury and possibly being ruled out for a lengthy spell.
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