Gary Lineker believes Raphinha “looks a prospect” for Leeds United after the Brazilian scored his first goal for the club in the 1-0 win over Everton on Saturday.
Marcelo Bielsa has taken his time to introduce Raphinha, 23, into his starting line-up after singing the Brazilian winger for £17million from Rennes in October.
He’s now started the last two Premier League matches and it would be fair to say that he’s stood out as one of Leeds’ best players in the games against Arsenal and Everton.
At Goodison Park on Saturday, not only did he score the match-winning goal with a fine strike from the edge of the penalty area but he also created numerous chances and gave Everton defenders a headache throughout.
Lineker was very impressed with what he saw from the former Rennes attacker.
“It was a game of a thousand chances, wasn’t it? Well, actually I think it was 38 shots all together but only one found it’s way into the net and that was the Brazilian Raphinha. He’s 23-years-old and looks a prospect,” said Lineker on BBC One’s Match of the Day on Saturday night.
After Michard Richards gave his analysis of Raphinha, Lineker added: “He’s a little gem.”
According to stats by WyScout, Raphinha managed to hit the target with two of his three attempts at goal on Saturday while also having four touches inside the Everton penalty area, making four progressive runs and completing one of his two dribbles.
He was a constant thorn in the side of the Toffees’ defence and on any other day, he might have scored another goal or managed to supply as assists too as his xA on Merseyside was 0.55.
Raphinha was the key to unlocking Everton’s defence on Saturday and he also showed against Arsenal that he’s able to use his brilliant ball control and quick pace to cause issues against some of the most expensive defenders in the league.
We cannot wait to see what Raphinha can do when he starts against some of the lesser Premier League teams who’ll sit back a bit more and invite the Brazilian to run at them.
Lineker’s right to point out that Leeds have a prospect on their hands but that’s not news to Bielsa or Victor Orta, who signed the 23-year-old last month from Rennes.
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