Leeds United

Leeds United: Phil Hay backs Raphinha to start

Image for Leeds United: Phil Hay backs Raphinha to start

Phil Hay has been speaking about how Raphinha simply has to return to the starting lineup for Leeds United.

Raphinha was forced to miss last week’s loss in the Premier League through illness, but Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed during his pre-match press conference that the Brazilian winger is back healthy and set to return after just a one-week absence.

That will be a massive boost for Leeds to have someone like Raphinha back and available, given he’s the club’s top scorer this season and he attracts so much attention on the pitch because of how willing he is to drive the ball up the field, and thus, helps relieve pressure off of a Leeds backline that has kept just one clean sheet in the league.

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Hay has been speaking about how Raphinha simply has to start this weekend on The Phil Hay Show.

“The range of players that [Bielsa] is able to pick from is better when you’re talking about experienced players and proven players. I think it goes without saying that Raphinha will come back into the team, surely.

“I would imagine Rodrigo probably will as well, although there might be a little temptation to give Gelhardt another go.

“Because if they were to play better over 90 minutes, as opposed to just one very good half, then you felt like there would be something in it for Gelhardt, who is a proper shoot-on-sight striker.”

TIF Thoughts on Raphinha…

Raphinha has been in scintillating form since arriving at Elland Road, but this season has seen him really look to put the club on his back and drive them forward despite their struggles to be consistent.

The return of the Brazilian winger is even more important, with Bielsa reporting that Patrick Bamford is still out injured and having to work through his recovery to full fitness and match sharpness, while Leeds have three favourable fixtures before a horrid run of matches against teams at the top-end of the table, so having a game-changer like Raphinha back could see them move away from the relegation zone.

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