Raphinha has been a genuinely electric presence on Leeds United’s right flank this season.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have carved out a niche as perhaps the great entertainers of this season’s Premier League, conceding the most goals of the top 10 but winning plenty of admirers along the way.
They have taken some scalps too, taking points off both Manchester City and Arsenal, and they are now looking up instead of down.
Indeed, they are already 17 points clear of the relegation zone and are just eight points off that mythical 40-point mark.
Raphinha has been key to that, scoring four goals and laying on four assists in 17 league games this season.
That has even led to reports that he could move to Liverpool in the summer, with Jurgen Klopp’s team said to be interested in luring him away from Elland Road.
And former Premier League manager Alex McLeish believes he knows exactly why the Reds are interested.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “Game-changer, a game-changer and we discussed his work rate weeks ago when he lost the ball and he chased a player right across to the other side of the pitch.
“Not just that, when the ball went he went for that as well. Sometimes you can call that headless chicken but he was in a position where he could do it and it wasn’t drawing his defenders out of position for the opposition to go in between them.
“He’s calculated, intelligent, (got the) football brain of a guy who also has a tremendous attitude off the ball, against the ball.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…
Yeah, Raphinha is a star in waiting.
Still just 24, he’s taken to the Premier League like a duck to water and he has the ability to absolutely terrorise defences.
Not only is he willing to take players on and carve out chances, he also gets his head up and knows exactly what he needs to do to bring his team-mates into play.
Per fbref, this is a legitimately world-class player in waiting.
He averages 5.98 progressive passes per 90 – placing him in the top four percent of all wingers in Europe’s top five leagues – along with 2.8 shots, 0.33 assists, 0.93 interceptions, a superb 4.39 shot-creating actions, and even 0.7 clearances.
There isn’t a lot Raphinha can’t do, and the player rated as most like him in the Premier League is Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes.
We can pay him no higher compliment.News Now - Sport News