Robbie Savage admits he’s been impressed by Leeds United this season and says Raphinha comes close to getting into his Premier League team of the year.
Raphinha, 24, has been a revelation since joining the Whites from Rennes in September with the Brazilian winger scoring six goals and supplying five assists in 25 appearances for the Yorkshire club.
He has Leeds fans out of their seats almost every time he’s on the ball and with Leeds impressing on their return to the Premier League, Savage has also been thrilled by what he’s seen from Raphinha to the point where he’s almost made his select XI.
When asked for his team of the year, Savage told William Hill’s ThreeOfTheBest: “It’s tough, it’s a real tough one, some remarkable performances. We’ve seen, you know, West Ham doing well, Leicester doing well, Everton, Aston Villa, Leeds with some good performances.”
Savage then went through his team of the year which had Ederson in goals, a back-four of Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Ruben Dias and Luke Shaw. In midfield he named Youri Tielemans, Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden, Bruno Fernandes and Jack Grealish with Harry Kane as the only striker.
After that, Savage added: “That’s my team of the year but [Emiliano] Martinez [at] Villa has been good, Raphinha has been good, you know, [Mohamed] Salah has been good.”
🏆 Who should win these awards…
💫 Young Player of the Year
💪 Player of the Year
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) March 26, 2021
Raphinha pipped to TOTY XI
Let’s face it, there have been some tremendous performances by other players in the Premier League this season so for Raphinha to be in the discussion at all is a massive achievement.
He’ll have to compete against other right-sided wingers to get into a team of the year and has a lot of competition from the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Salah and even West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen.
When pundits make their team of the year, they don’t really stick to positions either because Savage’s here sounds as though he’s naming Manchester United star Fernandes on the right, even though he plays more centrally.
There have been some stunning attacking midfield performers this term and Raphinha could not have done a lot more than what he has done to beat some of those in-form stars.
For his first season in the Premier League, his achievements have been phenomenal.
Just imagine what he can do next season.
We’ve already seen how players improve in their second season under Marcelo Bielsa like Jack Harrison and, to an extent, Helder Costa, who has shown glimpses of being better than the player he was last season despite failing to impress in general.
Raphinha, by the time next season comes around, could be one of the best players in the league.
In other Leeds United news, Gareth Southgate shared his thoughts on Kalvin Phillips’ display for England on Thursday night.