If you were to rank all of Leeds United’s signings over the past few years, you’d be hard pressed to find someone arguing for anyone other than Raphinha being near the top of that list, if not at the very top.
The Brazilian has been an absolute revelation for Marcelo Bielsa’s side since joining in a £17m deal from French outfit Stade Rennes just under 12 months ago, enjoying a superb debut campaign in English football which saw him net six goals and provide another nine assists in the Premier League alone.
He said: “My understanding of what went on at Rennes was that he was as happy to leave as they were to sell him, and it felt like, in the end, all sides got pretty much what they wanted.
“I was asking a couple of journalists over there, ‘why have they done this deal at this price?’ They said because, basically, if they get their money back on him, they would be happy with that, because they don’t think he’s been that outstanding.”
Raphinha’s displays had Leeds teammate Patrick Bamford hailing him after the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace back in February, with the Englishman telling Sky Sports: “I think, to be honest, he has been a steal for Leeds. I am surprised. As soon as he came in, you saw him in training, you know sometimes with players whether they are good or they are top class, and he really was. He stood out straightaway.
“I am surprised that bigger teams, more established Premier League teams I should say, haven’t taken a punt on him because he really is someone special, and he is young.”
The £27m-rated Raphinha has been an absolute masterclass of a signing from Victor Orta and co.