By Adefunmiloye Alani

14th Oct, 2021 | 3:40pm

Fabinho impressed by Raphinha's brilliant start to Leeds career

Fabinho has been impressed by Raphinha’s brilliant start to his Leeds United career, showering accolades on his international teammate.

The 24-year-old attacker made his Brazil debut this month and immediately hit the ground running on international duty, weighing in with two assists in the World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela.

Raphinha was linked with Liverpool in the summer after just a season in the English top-flight [UOL Sport], and the rumours have not gone away.

Fabinho believes the former Rennes star is the best player at Leeds, and he does not appear to be surprised by his fine form for the national team.

The Reds midfielder told reporters ahead of Uruguay’s clash (via Globo Esporte): “Raphinha, since arriving in the Premier League, has had a very good performance and stand outs in Leeds. In the market, there was a discussion about him going to Liverpool, but in the end he stayed at Leeds.

“He’s the best player in the team, we know he’s the one who can cause the most danger.

“He started very well in both games for the national team, participated in the three goals against Venezuela, did very well against Colombia. He is a left-footed player who goes up, comes in, as well as on the outside, this is very important for our team. He’s a guy with a lot of personality, and he’s already shown that he can help us a lot.”

Deserved

Raphinha never got to represent his country at youth level and has had to put in a lot of hard work to finally get recognised on the international scene.

Despite ending last term with six goals and nine Premier League assists in 30 games for the Whites, he did not get a look in during squad selection for the Copa America in the summer.

Brazil manager Tite probably regrets that decision right now and the Leeds ace has shown why he deserves to be a regular for his country.

He is one of the Whites’ most important players, and the three goals he has supplied and the involvement he had in the goal in the 1-0 win over Watford has helped keep Marcelo Bielsa’s side out of the relegation zone after seven rounds of games.

Leeds have a gem on their hands, and with Liverpool and others showing an interest, they could be forced to cash in on him once it becomes increasingly difficult to hold on to him.

In other Leeds United news, a talkSPORT host has mooted a move to club with owners worth £320bn for Whites ace.