Dominic Matteo has claimed that Leeds United winger Raphinha can go all the way to the very top of the game and said, “I don’t say that lightly – I’m not usually one for making huge predictions.”

Raphinha – on a reported £60k-a-week – has been making headlines at Leeds after making a fast start at Elland Road since signing in the summer.

He put in a fantastic display in the 2-0 win against Crystal Palace on Monday and Matteo claimed he is an “absolute nightmare” for defenders.

Writing in his column in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Matteo said, “The way he [Raphinha] plays and with the attitude he has I’m convinced with the right path he could get to the top of football and I don’t say that lightly – I’m not usually one for making huge predictions.

“He’s got the full package. Stade Rennes must be kicking themselves that they let him go for just £17m.

“Can he work on things? Yes. Of course. But once he starts to get that consistency into his game then who knows where it will stop.

“Raphinha can go one-on-one with anyone at the moment… As a defender he will be an absolute nightmare to deal with.

“He really has the world at his feet with Leeds.”

Real deal

That’s a huge commendation from Matteo, who isn’t known for his hyperbole.

Watching Raphinha against Palace on Monday it was clear to see just how good he can be.

We’ve talked before about how much Bielsa has improved the current crop of Leeds players, and wondered what he’d do with a world-class talent.

We’re starting to see that with Raphinha now, who had it all to prove after admitting he felt “devalued” after being sold for £17m to Leeds.

If he’s got the hunger and the attitude to learn, then he really could be a frightening talent, and so far the signs look really, really good.

It’s not just the incredible skills, like the spinning nutmeg he embarrassed Gary Cahill with on Monday.

It’s more the fact that he tracks back when Leeds aren’t in possession and looks absolutely as fit as any of the other players on the pitch.

Like Matteo says, he does look like he’s got everything in his locker and we look forward to him getting even better this season.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Absolutely smashing it’ – Some Leeds fans thrilled by loanee display against table-topping side

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