By Craig Scott

28th Mar, 2022 | 8:10am

Leeds United make official announcement about Raphinha amid speculation

Leeds United have confirmed in an official announcement that Raphinha will be available to play against Southampton on Saturday [2 April].

In an update on their official website on Sunday night [27 March], the Whites confirmed that the 25-year-old winger has “joined in training after recovering from illness”.

Raphinha missed the 3-2 win at Wolves prior to the current international break. As quoted by LeedsLive after appearing on Sky Sports, Jesse Marsch confirmed a positive COVID test for the Brazilian after rumours circulated on Twitter.

Straight back into the team?

Leeds managed to win 3-2 against Wolves at Molineux without Raphinha.

However, that doesn’t mean that the Brazilian should be left out of the starting line-up when Jesse Marsch names his squad to take on Southampton at Elland Road this weekend.

Let’s face it, we would not have won that game if Raul Jimenez wasn’t sent off for Wolves.

We were 2-0 down at half-time and really not playing well. That controversial red card changed the game massively.

Raphinha is our best player and our top goalscorer this term with nine goals in the Premier League. And with Patrick Bamford possibly missing the rest of the season, Marsch has to lean on Raphinha even more than he would have hoped.

Unfortunately, the exit-linked Brazilian hasn’t been at his best for a couple of months so he’ll need to get himself back to his best if he wants to get back in the starting line-up and stay there between now and the end of the campaign.

But, still, we know what Raphinha is capable and we’d be shocked if he isn’t in the starting line-up when the Saints are in town this weekend.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has shared a major update on Raphinha’s potential move to Barcelona after Victor Orta’s meetings with Deco.