Paul Robinson: Raphinha news is 'Huge blow' for Leeds United ahead of clash v Southampton
We’re delighted to welcome former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson as our exclusive columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Leeds United.
Jack Harrison and Daniel James will start on the wings for Leeds United when they play Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday, according to Paul Robinson.
Raphinha is set to miss Leeds’ trip to the south coast with HampshireLive reporting he’s a “serious doubt” due to Brazil boss Tite saying none of his players will return from international duty early.
Brazil play Uruguay in World Cup qualifying in the early hours of Friday morning (UK time), meaning that it’s almost going to be impossible for Raphinha to return in time to be ready to play versus Southampton the day after.
Robinson is gutted that the Brazil international is set to miss the game, especially after how his exit from the West Ham defeat cost Leeds points last month.
“It’s a huge blow for them,” Robinson told MOT Leeds News.
“I was there for the West Ham game and Leeds dominated for 60 minutes. For the first 45 minutes, Leeds were outstanding and at the start of the second half, they were very good but as soon as Raphinha went off, the game changed.
“Yes, they have Daniel James and Jack Harrison and if Harrison is fit, he will start the game [against Southampton] and James will too.
“But Raphinha is a cut above and he needs to keep doing what he’s been doing.
“He needs to keep his attitude and his application right and he’s getting better and better for them.
“It’ll be a huge miss for Leeds.”
Raphinha has scored three goals in his seven Premier League appearances for Leeds so far this season.
The ex-Rennes winger made his debut for Brazil in a World Cup qualifier against Venezuela last week.
In that match, Brazil won 3-1 with Raphinha assisting goals for both Marquinhos and Antony.
Harrison hasn’t started for Leeds since their 3-0 Premier League defeat to Liverpool over five weeks ago.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites are set for a major boost when they play Southampton.