Nike Strike Aerowsculpt Official Premier League match balls. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Leeds United transfer rumours: Leeds and West Ham target snubs new contract, Whites plot club record striker deal

It’s possible that Leeds United winger Raphinha has never been as influential or as confident as he is right now.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 12:14 pm

This term alone Raphinha has recorded more ‘shot-creating actions’ than any of his team-mates, scored more goals, produced more crosses, taken more corners and attempted more than twice as many shots as anyone else in Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

“He’s playing exceptionally well, he’s scoring goals and he’s the main player for us at the present time – long may it continue,” Eddie Gray, the club’s greatest ever winger, told the YEP.

“The rest of the players know they’ve got somebody who can create a chance and take a chance himself, even when they’re not playing well. We never played particularly well at Norwich but he comes up with a goal and sets the standard. He’s always got a goal in him and the ability to create chances.”

“How do I know when a winger is feeling confident? When he goes by people,” said Gray.

“He’s that type of player, that’s his game running at people. That’s what he’s good at. He’s got the confidence to do it because of the talent he’s got. It’s quite simple, the boy’s a top-class player. He goes by people, he likes running at people and putting defenders under pressure.

“He can go both ways, inside or outside and he’s very effective on the right hand side of the pitch for us.”

Seb Carole, a former tricky winger for Leeds whose son Keenan is currently a tricky winger in the Leeds academy, agrees with the club legend.

"For attacking players or wide players you can tell straight away - their first touch will always be forward, they will try to be positive at all times," he told the YEP.

"For the most skilful ones you’ll see them try the most advanced tricks to get past defenders and will often try riskier pass and crosses. Watching a confident winger's decision making, it will be right most of the time, when he needs to pass or cross or shoot, play one touch or retain the ball.

"You look at our Raphinha today and Jadon Sancho and you can tell the difference. One just had an amazing spell with Brazil and is performing with Leeds so will be more productive. One is fully confident and the other looking for it to come back."

Page 1 of 3