We were behind the shouts for Raphinha to start for Leeds United against Arsenal on Sunday.
The winger, who signed for £18m in the summer, duly got his first start and put in a decent performance. If he’d scored the big chance he got late on then he’d have made himself an instant hero.
His profligacy in front of goal was the only downside to a display that promises a lot for the future.
He was given the highest rating of any attacking player in the Leeds line-up and the third-best of all of Bielsa’s players. [WhoScored]
Raphinha coming in meant that Helder Costa was dropped. He played for the Under-23s on Monday, coming on in the second half, and his attitude was absolutely brilliant.
He could have been forgiven for dialling in a performance after the disappointment of being dropped,
Instead, he was super hungry and was by the far the best player on the pitch in the second 45.
He inspired a comeback from the Under-23s, 1-0 down at half-time, and he capped off a brilliant performance with an absolute wonder goal in the final minutes of the game.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) November 23, 2020
He picked up the ball outside the West Brom, where he held off a challenge before dancing around the entire West Brom defence and firing the ball into the net from close range.
This is what Costa can do when he’s at his devastating best and it sent a huge message to Bielsa who will have loved the commitment and drive from the winger.
It leaves Bielsa with a massive problem for the game against Everton.
Does he stick with Raphinha or bring Costa back in? Does he tinker further and take Jack Harrison out and start both Raphinha and Costa?
We think that Bielsa will stick with the XI that started against Arsenal, with Rodrigo coming in for Gjannio Alioski.
However, after Monday’s heroics, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Costa back in the starting XI.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Not happy’ – Exclusive: Pundit says £20m-rated Leeds-linked attacker has dropped big move hint