Leeds United news: Steve McManaman makes Raphinha transfer claim

BT Sport pundit Steve McMannaman

After suffering back-to-back defeats in the Premier League, Leeds United will be aiming to get back on track this weekend when they host Chelsea.

Currently 11th in the top-flight standings, the Whites could move level on points with Arsenal if they beat Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Given that Chelsea have won three of their last five Premier League games, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa may have to turn to Raphinha for inspiration in order to have the best chance of securing a positive result at Elland Road.

Since joining Leeds for a fee believed to be in the region of £17m from Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais, the winger has established himself as a crucial player for the club.

As well as scoring five goals in 22 Premier League appearances, Raphinha has also provided his team-mates with five assists.

Given that the Brazilian has made an immediate impression in the top-flight, it is hardly a surprise that he is earning plaudits from supporters and pundits alike.

As cited by the Daily Mail about the player, Steve McManaman has suggested that whilst he believes Liverpool (who have been linked) should think about making a move for him this summer, he acknowledges that the winger will cost his former side a considerable amount of money.

The BT Sport pundit said: “He’s only just entered the Premier League so the fact that he’s hit the ground running is a big plus.

“He has a lot of skill and a lot of talent.

“I don’t want to disrespect Leeds but of course he could play for a big six club.

“He could easily fit in a team like that, I just think Liverpool need a player who can change the way they play a bit.”

McManaman later added: “It’s something that Liverpool have to have a really good think about, the transfer committee really have to put their heads together.

“But if he [Raphinha] leaves, it’ll be for a hell of a lot of money.”

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When you consider just how impressive Raphinha has been this season, McManaman’s assessment of his value is spot on as the winger is clearly destined for big things in the future.

As well as providing 10 direct goal contributions for Leeds, the Brazilian is averaging a club-high WhoScored match rating of 7.11 this season.

Raphinha is also is leading the way in terms of dribbles completed (1.6) and is only behind Whites forward Patrick Bamford in the shots per game category (2.4).

Given that the winger is a key component to Leeds’ side, it is imperative that the club reject any potential bids this summer as they should instead be looking to build a squad around the former Sporting Lisbon man during the upcoming transfer window.

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