'He is the best' - Liverpool star talks up Leeds United's Raphinha after stunning rise to Brazil squad

Brazil team-mate Fabinho has talked up Leeds United winger Raphinha - admitting he expected Liverpool to try and sign him last summer.

By Joe Urquhart
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 12:55 pm

The Whites wide man has made quite an impression on the Premier League following his move to Elland Road from Stade Rennes over a year ago.

English football has been dazzled by his impressive skill and quick adaptation under head coach Marcelo Bielsa, scoring six goals and notching nine assists in 30 appearances during his debut term.

Raphinha' s form has carried into the new campaign and saw him earn a call-up into Tite's latest Brazil squad, having travelled this month to represent the Seleção after Covid restrictions in England hampered his initial call-up in September.

Leeds United winger Raphinha. Pic: Getty

He bagged two assists on debut in a 3-1 win over Venezuela and is set to secure his first start for his country against Uruguay in the early hours of Friday morning should local reports be believed.

Brazil were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw with Colombia on Sunday night and his head coach looks set to make changes for the final World Cup qualifier of an intense triple-header.

"Raphinha, since he arrived in the Premier League, has been performing and standing out very well at Leeds," the Reds midfielder said.

"Even in the summer transfer market, there was some talk that he could go to Liverpool, I even expected that to happen, but he stayed at Leeds.

"Today he is the best player in Leeds. Whenever a team is going to play against them, they know that Raphinha is the player who can cause the most danger.

"After his first call-up, he started very well in both games, he made an impact against Venezuela, he played a part in the three goals. Against Colombia, he came in and played very well.

"The attributes he has are very unique. A left-handed player who can go either way. This is very important for our team. Against Colombia he made the best plays of our team and he can help us a lot."