Leeds United winger Raphinha is a better player because of the frustration and anger that fuels him, according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay.

The Brazilian arrived last summer for £17million and has made a good impression at Elland Road with four goals and four assists in 13 Premier League starts.

He has replaced Helder Costa in the starting line-up and won numerous plaudits in doing so.

Hay remarked on not just his ability but his drive and motivation.

He said on The Phil Hay Show (19:25), “That was one of his biggest traits was the fact that football did make him angry, things that went wrong would frustrate him.

“To me I’ve not seen any issue with his temperament, if there is anger there it is not there in dare I say an Alioski way.

“There is definitely a fire in his football.

“You see in Raphinha constantly this permanent insistence of trying to make things happen, taking the ball running, taking risks, taking chances.”

Raphinha displayed such frustration in a recent act of petulance against Crawley, when he ushered substituted player Tom Dallison off the pitch despite the Whites being 3-0 down.

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Bielsa’s enigma

Raphinha is quite unlike many players that have played for Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds.

The Argentine seems to prefers players who will follow his instructions and rarely stray from the role he wants them to perform.

Individuals who could be regarded as mavericks, such as Samuel Saiz, have been sold under Bielsa’s watch.

That is what makes Raphinha so remarkable.

His style off the ball and his running stats mean he is the ideal winger for Bielsa’s system, yet he is also a matchwinner.

He proved that with his goal at Goodison Park earlier in the season while his recent display against Newcastle showed how valuable he is.

Raphinha opened the scoring in that match and his creativity was on show too with a fine ball to Jack Harrison to score.

That came shortly after their equaliser, too, which means Raphinha may have been driven by his frustration.

And long may that irritation continue if it allows Raphinha to maintain his current performances.

In other Leeds United news, View: Bielsa to hand Leeds ace first start since Oct in big change – Predicted Leeds XI v Palace.


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