By Kealan Hughes

6th Mar, 2021 | 12:16pm

Deco compares client Raphinha to Di Maria, details interest in winger last summer

Leeds United signed Raphinha last summer but according to his agent Deco they had to beat multiple clubs to his signature.

The Brazilian arrived for £17million and former Chelsea player Deco suggests Raphinha chose Leeds due to their Premier League pedigree.

When questioned whether there was interest in the 24-year-old, he told LUFCFANZONE podcast [19:18], “There was two or three clubs, Italian clubs.

“But the Premier League is the best league and Raphinha wants to play at a high level, so his decision was Leeds because of that.”

Deco was always asked which player Raphinha most reminds him of and his answer [31:10] shows how highly he regards the Whites winger.

“[Angel] Di Maria. For me I always liked him and Raphinha has the same style, a little bit more goals.

“Left-foot, one against one, these are the kind of players I always enjoy.”

Real gem

Raphinha has proved a revelation since the summer and we’re glad the Premier League convinced him to pick Leeds.

He might not be at the level of Champions League winner Di Maria yet but he is progressing all the time and has certainly improved our Leeds side.

Also, it is a huge positive to see we are now capable of fighting off interest from Serie A.

It is likely we are a bigger attraction than clubs in most other leagues, too, given the standing of the Premier League.

That could be vital in the summer if we are looking to recruit more hidden gems from across Europe.

Victor Orta showed last year it is a market he is keen to dip in to, with Rodrigo, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente also joining.

Raphinha’s success can also be held up as an example to appeal to transfer targets, as his five goals and five assists show he has hit the ground running.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Liquidation’ – Maguire makes exciting Leeds summer transfer claim.