Leeds United this season have been fickle, to say the least. One day they are a team hard to get by and another day they play like a League Two side untouched by the grittiness of the Premier League. The Championship side of last season, however, is social distancing from the relegation zone standing still in the 12th position courtesy of a consistent performer, Raphinha.
The Brazilian forward has been Premier League’s bargain of this season at just £17 million. Raphinha has taken into life under Marcelo Bielsa in a blink of an eye adopting the manager’s free-flowing style of football.
The attacker came in as an astonishment with many followers unaware of his ethics. He was the player in Victor Orta’s priority list despite only playing one season in Europe’s top five Leagues. In fact, Victor had been focused on the youngster since his days at Sporting Lisbon.
The 23-year-old then had a sensational season for Rennes in France last year and it was his consistent displays of world-class football and blinding dribbling skills that subsequently earned him a call from Leeds United.
The attacker has been brilliant for Leeds from the word go, despite being on the score sheet only 4 times. It is his dribbles that have made defenders look like toothless tigers and have simultaneously helped Leeds move forward in lieu of goal. His work ethic is unmatched which when coupled with his tricks brings out the best in him.
The numbers I present will surely do justice to what I am talking about. Raphinha has racked up 1.5 dribbles per game this season which is one of the prime reasons for him being in the good books of Bielsa. Even in the training sessions, he works his socks off, which has only increased the affection of the coach in him.
The Brazilian recovers 6.83 balls per game which in the context of a winger is huge. The number of loose balls he has recovered is only a testimony to the amount of hard work he puts in for his team. What else would you want from a winger who knows how to create chances along with the ability to track back when needed.
One more reason to like him is the number of balls he brings forward. The canny winger moves forward with the ball in the penalty area, 6.63 times per game as compared to 4.4 times of that of his partner Costa.
The witty winger is a by-product of his hard work. He is a blessing in guise for the Leeds United team who can learn a lot from him. The Brazilian has the ability to push Leeds United and help them stay in the Premier League for next season too.
Given what he has brought in to the team, £17 million for Raphinha look more of a penny now.