'I've been told...' - Exclusive: Pundit claims new Leeds signing is weeks away from debut
We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United…
Raphinha is “a couple of weeks” away from earning his Leeds United debut, according to ex-goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
Leeds completed a £17million deal for the 23-year-old winger on deadline day after agreeing terms with Ligue 1 club Rennes.
Raphinha has joined up with a side that is in seriously good form with wide players Jack Harrison and Helder Costa being two of the stand-outs in the opening weeks of the new Premier League season.
Robinson cannot see Raphinha taking either of their spots in the starting line-up just yet and adds that the Brazilian attacker needs time to meet Marcelo Bielsa’s high standards of match-readiness.
“It’s down to Raphinha to prove what he can do in training and take the shirt from Harrison or Costa, who are in the men in possession at the moment,” Robinson told MOT Leeds News.
“We’ve seen Tyler Roberts and Rodrigo playing in the midfield too so Bielsa’s not afraid to play attacking players in the centre of the midfield as well.
“I’ve been told that the coach is very demanding, he puts different demands on players compared to what he used to so I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see him for a couple of weeks to get ‘Bielsa-ready’.
“It’s very, very rare these days that the same 11 is picked each week with teams and formation picked demanding on the opposition and players’ fitness.
“There’s going to be a lot of game-time for Raphinha.”
Raphinha might not need as long as other players to meet Bielsa’s fitness requirements with the Brazilian ace hitting the ground running in the opening weeks of the Ligue 1 season with Rennes.
He showed absolutely no signs that he needs more time to get fit in that match but we all know what Bielsa is like in wanting his players to be 110 per cent ready to start matches.
But, factor in Bielsa’s high standards with the form of someone like Costa then it doesn’t seem likely that Raphinha will start any time soon.
In other Leeds United news, Bruno Fernandes sent a message to Raphinha after he signed for the Whites.