Phil Hay has claimed that new Leeds United signing Raphinha is a “steal” and a “level above” Jack Harrison, Helder Costa and Pablo Hernandez. 

He thinks that Leeds picked him up for a bargain price saying, “£17m for him could be such a steal long term.”

Raphinha signed from Rennes in the summer and said himself that he felt “devalued” at being sold for such a low price.

Talking on the latest episode of the Phil Hay Show podcast Hay said, “His touch and decision making is absolutely outstanding.

“In the game last night [v Newcastle] I was looking at him – I’ve got a lot of time for Rodrigo, but at £30m nigh-on you’d hope he would be an absolute star – I was looking at Raphinha and thinking £17m for him could be such a steal long term.

“He’s very very good at picking the right passes and reading the game.

“I think he’s a level above Harrison and a level above Helder Costa, and I suspect out on the right he’s a level above Hernandez.

“If what we’re seeing is a demonstration of what we’re going to see longer-term, he’s going to be a regular at Leeds for a long time.”

Costa faces struggle

Raphinha’s success in the first team means that he’s going to be one of the first names on the Leeds team sheet at the moment.

That means that Helder Costa is going to face a struggle to get back in the side, despite coming with a £16m price tag himself.

He’s struggled for consistency this season and that’s seen him dropped from the starting XI and then out of the squad completely for the game against Newcastle.

It will be interesting to see if he gets back in the squad for the Man United game or whether he needs to prove his attitude in the Under-23s game on Monday.

What we want to see is desire and passion – if we get that then Costa will be a real weapon from the bench.

However, Raphinha does look a level above and Leeds fans have taken to him in a big way already.

If he scores the winner against Man United on Sunday he’ll be on his way to legend status.

In other Leeds United news, ‘Leeds will be dangerous’ – Mark Lawrenson predicts result in massive Leeds clash v Man United

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