By Beck Pascal

15th Jan, 2022 | 4:10pm

Marcelo Bielsa dubs Raphinha the 'best' player at Leeds United

Marcelo Bielsa has dubbed Leeds United star Raphina the ‘best’ player in the team at Elland Road. 

The Whites have opened contract talks with the Brazilian amid increasing speculation of a move away from West Yorkshire. 

The 25-year-old has been one of Leeds’ top performers since making the move to West Yorkshire in 2020. 

“I think it is a great decision [to open contract talks]. Raphinha is the best player in the team in all the senses,” Bielsa told Yorkshire Evening Post.

“Physically, he is the best, technically he is at the level of the best and the interpretation that he has of the game is very good, very wise.

“He is within the group of such a powerful nation as Brazil. He shines in the Premier League and he has the attention of all the big clubs in the world.

“All of those things are something that you guys know as much as me, nothing that I am saying is new. As a result, the decision of the club can only be valued.”

Justified

Bielsa is giving it his best attempt to sweet talk Raphinha into staying at Elland road. 

The magician clearly is one of, maybe even, the best players at Leeds which justifies the heavy praise from the boss. 

The attention he has found himself subject to speaks volumes of his development as a player.

Not only has he been linked with some of the world’s best teams, he now features in Brazil’s national team after, a team not shy of talent.

The Whites are desperate to keep hold of their key man both this season and long term. Without him they could, as well as the current injury crisis, Leeds could struggle to turn their form around in order to steer clear of the relegation zone.

Calvin Phillips is also linked to a move away from Leeds and it is imperative they don’t lose several key players around the same time which could be detrimental to the team. 

In other Whites news, Junior Firpo commits ‘a lot of years’ to his Leeds United future.