Since moving to Leeds from Stade Rennais in what was a £16.72 million deal back in October last year, Raphinha has proven one of Marcelo Bielsa’s star players over his 20 Premier League appearances, scoring five goals and providing five assists, as well as averaging a WhoScored match rating of 7.16 – ranking him as the club’s second-best performer in the top flight.
However, even by the £16.2 million-rated 24-year-old’s high standards, his performance in the Whites’ recent 3-0 victory against Southampton was exceptional, with the winger completing two dribbles, making four key passes and scoring one goal in the fixture, earning himself a SofaScore match rating of 7.8 for his efforts.
And, speaking on a recent video for Leeds Live, Beren Cross very nearly ran out of words to describe just how impressive Raphinha has been since arriving at Leeds.
He said: “How good is Raphinha? I don’t know what else you can say about him really. What a footballer. What a player. Easily the best footballer I’ve seen play for Leeds United since I started doing this job, so three years.
“They just couldn’t stop him could they? They just couldn’t stop him. Every time he got the ball he was just gone. He could have had about five assists.
“The guy’s technical ability is absolutely frightening. Then you throw in the mental attributes as well, with his hard work, his determination, his flair, his off the ball movement, his anticipation, his decision making, and then you chuck that in with a boatload of pace and acceleration and natural fitness – he’s the whole package.
“How has [Victor] Orta got this guy for less than £20 million pounds? What a signing. What a player.”
Will Leeds sell Raphinha this summer?
TIF Thoughts on Beren Cross’ comments regarding Raphinha…
As Cross points out, the fact that £58k per week man already has 10 direct goal involvements to his name over just 20 appearances in the Premier League would indeed appear to indicate that Leeds got themselves something of a bargain in parting with just £16.72 million for the purchase of the winger last year.
And, with a number of the Premier League’s big hitters reported to be interested in making the Brazilian’s stay at Elland Road as short as possible, it is not difficult to imagine Leeds demanding a considerable amount more than Stade Rennais did last October, should they wish to part with the 24-year-old this summer.