Leeds United forward Raphinha has been the star man going forward for the Whites this season, but a new eye-opening stat has emerged on his abilities compared to Manchester City star Bernardo Silva, ahead of their clash on Saturday evening.
Leeds have had a less than satisfactory season as they sit 16th in the table, heading into the weekend only five points above the relegation zone as the season draws to a close.
But it is not all bad news for Leeds fans as one player, in particular, has been outstanding all season – that being Brazilian winger Raphinha. He has managed to rack up an impressive 10 goals and three assists in the Premier League this season, leading the team in goals as well as in minutes per goal (256) and total shots (54 – as per BBC Sport)
However, despite being the best attacking threat for Leeds, with journalist Phil Hay stating earlier this season: “In an attacking sense, Raphinha is consistently head and shoulders above everyone,” a list of stats has emerged on Twitter ahead of their game with City, with the Brazilian compared to Portugal star Bernardo Silva.
— Leeds United StatZone (@lufcsz) April 30, 2022
In the post, we see that despite playing fewer games than Silva – 29 compared to the Portuguese’s 30, Raphinha has managed two more goals with 10, as well as posting more recoveries, successful dribbles and an impressive 20 more successful duels than Silva.
The latter might come as a surprise to fans as the Brazilian has not been praised for his take-on qualities a lot this season, rather his finishing and technical ability.
Of the statistics included, Silva only beat Raphinha in passing accuracy – perhaps unsurprisingly in a team on course for a second straight Champions League final – and having 14 more touches per game.
Pundit Joe Cole praised the winger earlier in the season for his ability up front, stating on BT Sport in February: “He’s scored goals, assists, goal involvements, he does everything, he’s a real technician, he’s a real pleasure to watch.”
In addition to Cole, fellow Leeds teammate Illan Meslier commented on his ability to shoot and his skill on the ball, saying: “Every day it is a pleasure to train with him and to play with him. All the time he can make skills and shoot. Sometimes Raphinha is a storm.”
TIF Thoughts on Raphinha…
There is no doubt the Brazilian international has impressed plenty with his ability this season and regardless of whether Leeds stays up, it would not be a surprise if a lot of teams were to come in for him during the summer transfer window, and Leeds may struggle to hold onto such an asset.
The stats above are even more eye-opening when you see that Raphinha has only managed to average two successful dribbles per game as well as ranking in only the 76th percentile for dribbles completed in world football, while he ranks in the 47th percentile for progressive carries with the ball, according to FBRef.
Will Raphinha stay at Leeds?
Whether the stats suggest the Brazilian is indeed worthy of making a step up to a team like Manchester City is up for debate, but Raphinha has nevertheless played a huge part in Leeds’s campaign this year and losing him could prove very costly as he will not be easy to replace for the Yorkshire team. They need to make sure they keep hold of him and build around his strengths next season.