By Adefunmiloye Alani

17th Sep, 2021 | 12:30pm

Raphinha hopes Leeds United can qualify for Europe this season

Raphinha has admitted he knows he can do better in every game and is hoping Leeds United qualify for Europe this term.

The Elland Road outfit finished in ninth place in the Premier League table last term after returning to the division for the first time in 16 years, missing out on the continental spots by just three points.

The Brazilian attacker, 24, scored six goals and weighed in with nine assists in 30 top-flight appearances in 2020-21, and he believes he can improve and help fire the Whites to Europe.

“I hate losing and my team-mates feel this way, too,” Raphinha told Sportsmail.

“Bielsa is the same. He has even surprised me with how strong his work ethic is. There are moments to relax but the main objective is to work on our game.

“I know I can do better each game — Bielsa knows it, too. He doesn’t let us chill. We talk a lot, always wanting to win. We are strong-minded and focused, I know Leeds will be even greater this season. I hope we get into Europe.”

Promising

Leeds are yet to win in the new Premier League season, with two draws and two defeats to their name ahead of Friday’s trip to Newcastle United.

Raphinha has opened his account for the season, grabbing the equaliser in the 2-2 stalemate with Everton last month.

He earned a call-up to the Brazilian national team as a result of his form but was unable to travel back home for the World Cup qualifiers due to covid-19 travel protocols.

The Whites ace will be gutted to have missed the chance to make his debut for his country, but he will be eyeing a place in the World Cup squad next summer.

To break into Brazil’s star-studded national team permanently, Raphinha will have to keep getting better than he has done in the past.

The dynamic forward knows he can hit greater heights, and he is under the tutelage of one of the very best trainers in the game.

The Yorkshire side badly needs a win against Newcastle to get their campaign on track, and they can count on the former Rennes star to deliver the goods.

In other Leeds news, Gabriel Agbonlahor baffled by major news coming out of Elland Road.