Elland Road latest news: £28.8m Leeds star 'could be playing Champions League football'

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa on the touchline

Leeds United winger Raphinha is already good enough to be playing Champions League football, according to Leeds Live journalist Joe Donnohue.

The 24-year-old has only been at Elland Road for a year, but has already made a big impact for Marcelo Bielsa's men.

How has Raphinha done at Leeds?

When he arrived from Rennes last October, Raphinha was relatively unknown. That is no longer the case, though, after his impressive first season in the Premier League.

Last term, he scored six goals and provided nine assists in the top-flight as Leeds secured a ninth-place finish.

His performances have led to him receiving international recognition. After initially being called up by Brazil in September, which he decided to turn down, drawing praise from Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani, he picked up his first three caps earlier this month.

On his debut, he registered two assists against Venezuela, and he followed that up the week after by scoring twice in a 4-1 victory over Uruguay.

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What has Donnohue said about Raphinha?

Donnohue has claimed that Raphinha, who is valued at £28.8m by Transfermarkt, is currently operating at a Champions League level.

Speaking about the forward to GIVEMESPORT, he said: “I think he’s already at a level where he could be playing Champions League football. And that’s no secret to Leeds fans, that’s not secret to other clubs, that’s no secret to other journalists.

“It’s very well accepted that he is very much a Champions League level player.”

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When could Raphinha be playing Champions League football?

Leeds have started this season slowly, and realistically it seems they are some way off playing in Europe's elite club competition.

Therefore, if he wants to feature in the Champions League, Raphinha will likely need to move away from Leeds at some point.

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In terms of who he could join, his agent Deco, the former Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder, has stated that Liverpool are interested in his client.

This could potentially be a good move for the Brazilian, as he could then challenge the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino for a starting berth, and get to compete for major honours with Jurgen Klopp's side.

For now, though, Raphinha seems to be fully focused on helping Leeds climb the table, and if he keeps performing at the highest level, then a big transfer will take care of itself in the next season or two. 

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