'Tie him down' - Jermaine Beckford urges Leeds to hand player new deal after Graeme Souness exit comment
Former Leeds United striker Jermaine Beckford has urged Elland Road chiefs to tie Raphinha down to a new contract.
The Brazilian penned a four-year deal when he joined the Whites from Rennes last summer, but has taken to life in the Premier League at a canter, and is already said to be attracting attention from the some of the biggest clubs in the country.
The 24-year-old has contributed five goals and five assists in the top flight since the beginning of the campaign, and put in another eye-catching display in the 3-0 win over Southampton on Tuesday evening, rounding out his side's performance with a stunning long-range free-kick in the closing stages of the clash.
Speaking on Sky Sports prior to that match, ex-Elland Road hitman Beckford was eager to sing his praises.
He said: “Raphinha, I think he’s fantastic.
"Such an exciting player. Every time he picks the ball up he looks so positive – constantly playing forwards, looking forwards, asking how he can get past the defender.
"He’s quick, he's sharp, he’s tricky – wonderful player.”
Fellow pundit Graeme Souness addressed the speculation surrounding the South American, responding: “There’ll be a lot of people looking at him.”
Beckford replied: “Yeah, but he’s at massive football club, playing week in, week out, and that’s the key.
"What I would do now, I would tie him down to a new contract.
"If I was Marcelo Bielsa or Radrizzani, I would say, ‘Listen, what a great start to your campaign.
"Come in the office, I need to have a word with you – call your agent by the way’.”