Sky Sports pundit Paul Robinson has claimed Leeds United target Gonzalo Plata is very much in the mould of star man Raphinha who he believes will leave Elland Road this summer amid transfer rumours.
As a result of the Yorkshire team’s disastrous season in 21/22, which saw them survive relegation from the Premier League on the last day, several of their top players have been linked with a move away from the club this summer.
Key players like Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha have been heavily linked with moves away from the club, with the former attracting attention from Premier League giants Manchester City in recent weeks and Raphinha has been linked with moves to Barcelona, Arsenal, and Manchester United.
One player who has been linked with a possible move to Elland Road, however, is Sporting Lisbon forward Gonzalo Plata. The £8.5m forward could end up being a direct replacement for Raphinha if he does indeed make a move this summer, which Sky Sports pundit Robinson believes is likely to happen.
Robinson spoke to MOT Leeds News about what he thinks of Plata and that their star man could end up leaving as his ambitions and class over the last two seasons makes him a target for big clubs.
He said, “He sounds very much like a Raphinha type of player. They seem to be highly sought-after, these wingers who play on the opposite side to what foot they are. I’d be surprised if Raphinha is still there at the start of next season.
“I think with where his value is at the moment, his ambitions and how good he’s been the last two years, I’d be very surprised if he’s there at the start of next season. I think a big club will come in and they’ll test the water with Champions League football possibly going.
“For Leeds, depending on what type of transfer budget they’ve got, they’ll do well selling him and putting the money back in the team. If they are looking at the type of players like Plata at Sporting, it would suggest he’s seen as a replacement for Raphinha.”
TIF thoughts on Robinson’s comments…
will Leeds sell Raphinha?
Holding onto Raphinha will be a tough task for Leeds this summer as the Brazilian played incredibly well last season, racking up 11 goals and three assists across all competitions, leading the Leeds squad in goals.
However, selling the Brazilian could be a great idea as he will garner a big transfer fee, reported at £47 million. This will let them address other needs in the squad as well as sign Plata who could be bought for as little as £8.5m.
Plata managed to bag six goals and five assists in La Liga 2 last season, while this isn’t the most impressive haul from the Ecuadorian winger, he is only 21-years-old and therefore has a lot of time to develop and can learn from teammates like Jack Harrison, who has established himself as a top Premier League winger.