Leeds United writer Conor McGilligan has revealed his concerns with Brazilian winger Raphinha heading off on international duty.
Will Raphinha play for Leeds right after the international break?
One issue with this, however, is that he could end up representing his nation on a Friday, with Leeds having a Premier League match the very next day.
While speaking on his own YouTube channel, McGilligan has outlined the concerns he has over the harm this could do to the player as well as the club.
He explained: “I think it’s 35-36 hours by the time Brazil play to then when Leeds United play, which is such a massive ask for Raphinha to start in that game.
“But we know what he is like, he’s a freak of nature in terms of fitness, but with his ongoing issues with his groin and this, that, and the other this season, will Leeds risk that?
“I’m a bit disappointed he’s gone out there, to be honest. I am gutted because I’d have loved for him to just rest up.”
TIF Thoughts on Raphinha and Leeds United…
There is no doubting Raphinha’s importance with Marcelo Bielsa’s side. Last season he played in 30 games, scoring six goals, while he already has three in just seven appearances this term.
If he was to miss the club’s next fixture – a potentially tricky outing away against Southampton – Leeds could well drop points without their key creative player.
As things stand, there have been some reports that claim Premier League clubs have asked their South American players to return from international duty early so they can be ready when called upon. Whether or not the players and their countries will adhere to this request, remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, there have been reports suggesting that Leeds expect the Brazilian to feature at St. Mary’s in 10 days’ time.
Even if the player does rush back in time to play for Leeds, though, the amount of football and travel could cause him to suffer injury – something which has already been a concern for the club this season.