Leeds United winger Raphinha chasing phenomenal feat but one step at a time for Whites - David Prutton

Raphinha is facing an extremely tight turnaround if he is going to feature in next Saturday’s 3pm against Southampton at St Mary’s.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 6:47 am

His last game for Brazil is at 1.30am on Friday morning but I presume he won’t be flying cattle class. He won’t be cooped up somewhere with his legs around his ears.

There are two ways of looking at it on the back of the pandemic, whether these games need to be caught up with and played to ensure that the Qatar World Cup runs as smoothly as possible

But logistically it is very testing. There will be those that say all he is doing is playing football so pull yourself together which I thoroughly understand.

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CLASS ACT: Leeds United winger Raphinha, now a Brazil international, is held back by West Ham's Pablo Fornals in last month's Premier League clash at Elland Road. Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

But these are very high, elite-level athletes where the finest margins can cause big repercussions so if he gets anywhere near on the pitch on Saturday it will have been a phenomenal planes, trains and automobiles turnaround to get him back in his Leeds shirt.

After that there might be a little chance for him to put on the brakes.

It’s certainly testing but this also reflects what Leeds is now - a Brazilian international playing for Leeds which is fantastic.

For the time that Raphinha is in a Leeds shirt then it’s about making it as mutually beneficial as possible.

If he plays well for Leeds then Leeds do better and Leeds get higher up the Premier League.

That obviously attracts attention and you have gone from a player that had a decent enough pedigree when coming to Leeds to now turning out for his national side.

He is one of many players that have come to Leeds and improved himself and got better.

Without wanting to sound fatalistic about it, if he does keep turning up like he has been and that attracts attention then somebody will come in with a sizeable bid at some stage.

That is when Leeds need to show their mettle with it.

But no matter which football club you are, unless you are Manchester City or Liverpool, then money talks and I won’t put Newcastle United into that bracket just yet.

If that happens then Leeds would be daft not to entertain a huge figure for Raphinha but for Leeds fans hopefully that is a dilemma that is very much in the future rather than at the forefront.

Raphinha is undoubtedly the type of player that gets you on the edge of your seat and makes your jaw drop at times.

What I like about it is that when a player of his ability and background comes into the Premier League you want to see how robust he is and he has shown that which is the pleasing.

He is surrounded by players and professionals and a manager that obviously value him and wants to protect him but also wants him to be as robust as possible in the Premier League.

The little clips that you see on social media of his nutmegs and tricks and his ability with the football is football at its most pure.

It is a wonderful thing to see, a joy to see.

When it comes to the debate of talking about truly great players for a particular football club, everyone has got their opinion and people that they lean towards.

But right now he is as exciting a player that I can remember in recent years wearing the Leeds shirt, definitely.

In Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips Leeds have got two players that could be absolute cornerstones for Leeds for years to come.

Kalvin is already proving that and the esteem and regard that he is held in is just a joy to see.

He’s a thoroughly nice kid playing for a club that he quite obviously loves and which loves him back.

But that term of building a team around certain players, you have got to make sure that it is packed to the rafters with players of similar ambition, technique and ability which then allows a club to progress from consolidation to flourishing back in the Premier League.

It’s all about moving forward but the here and now is building on three points against Watford and I am intrigued to see how the season builds from here.

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Thank you Laura Collins