Leeds United could already turn a big profit on winger Raphinha, according to The Athletic’s Phil Hay and he thinks Marcelo Bielsa knows the player was a steal.

Hay used analysis firm AI Abicus to determine an estimate of the Brazilian’s current value and it produced a figure of around £24million.

That is £7m more than the Whites paid just a few months ago but Hay thinks he’s worth even more.

Bielsa was asked about Raphina’s value in his pre-match press conference.

Hay wrote, “Marcelo Bielsa digested the question and gave it some thought. Raphinha’s valuation was a matter for Victor Orta, he said. Bielsa was only qualified to talk about the winger’s performances. ‘But I understand the need to link his performances to increased value,’ he admitted. ‘It’s legitimate that you’re interested in knowing about this.’

“In not so many words, Bielsa was saying what the rest of us were thinking: Raphinha, at £17 million, was starting to look like a steal for Leeds United.

“Raphinha would currently cost around £24 million — a 38 percent increase on the amount Leeds paid in October. In reality his actual price tag may be far higher.”

He added that Orta believed Raphinha was available on the cheap a few months ago, and he has since made eight goal contributions in 13 starts for the Whites.

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Smart business

If Leeds are going to continue to build then we need to bring in more players like Raphinha.

He has undoubtedly improved us this season and is a huge upgrade on Helder Costa.

We think £24m is a conservative estimate and the biggest challenge we face with Raphinha is holding onto him in the summer if he carries on for Leeds in the same manner as he’s started.

We must hold onto him, though.

We’re not looking to be a feeder club for European giants – they’re the heights we’re looking to scale ourselves.

As long as Leeds keep progressing and stick to the long-term vision laid out by Andrea Radrizzani, then players should be happy to stay and play under Bielsa.

Radrizzani knows how important Radrizzani is to the long-term success of the club and we’re confident that he’ll sign another one-year deal.

Orta deserves a huge amount of credit for finding Raphinha, as do Radrizzani and Marcelo Bielsa for attracting the 24-year-old to West Yorkshire.

In other Leeds United news, Report: Leeds readying offer for £43k/wk speed machine after 49ers investment.

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