By MOT Leeds News speaking to Paul Robinson

19th Oct, 2021 | 4:10pm

Pundit: Leeds United issue with Raphinha is 'Ridiculous

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.

Paul Robinson is furious after Raphinha was unable to play for Leeds United in their 1-0 defeat at Southampton on Saturday.

Raphinha, 24, has been Marcelo Bielsa’s star player this season but the winger was unavailable due to playing for Brazil in a World Cup qualifier in the early hours of Friday morning.

It made it impossible for the Brazilian to get back to England in time to be fresh and ready to face the Saints.

His exclusion is one of the reasons why Leeds lost in such a poor manner at St Mary’s Stadium and Robinson is unhappy at how FIFA’s scheduling allowed such an issue to arise.

Speaking to MOT Leeds News, Robinson said: “The scheduling is crazy.

Premier League managers can’t come out and say it but can say it indirectly it’s not right.

International players have been going away over the years and we play on the Saturday, Tuesday or Wednesday so we’re available for the Premier League in the Saturday after.

To play on a Thursday or Friday night, and be halfway around the world away from your club team, it’s absurd. The scheduling is ridiculous, you can’t put players in that situation.

With COVID and isolation rules varying from one country to another, you don’t know what’s going to happen.

It’s absolutely absurd to have internationals half the way around the world and then a club game the next day. It can’t be done. It has to be looked at, it has to be adjusted.”

Raphinha has scored three goals in seven Premier League appearances for Leeds this season.

Although his inclusion in the last Brazil squad was not ideal for the Whites, the ex-Rennes winger did at least make an impression.

He assisted two goals on his Brazil debut versus Venezuela, played as a substitute in the draw with Colombia and then started versus Uruguay in the early hours of Friday morning and scored two goals.

It was a superb spell with Brazil for Raphinha but not one Bielsa will have been 100 per cent happy with.

In other Leeds United news, Jamie Carragher is furious with this “inexcusable” Leeds team news for the clash with Southampton.