By Nick Ware

29th Nov, 2021 | 7:10am

Darren Bent: Raphinha could leave Leeds United in January

Darren Bent suggests Leeds United star Raphinha could make an Elland Road exit in January and cause a huge hit to their 2021/22 hopes.

Raphinha, 24, has been the star of a pretty poor show for Leeds this season, top-scoring with five Premier League goals, more than double the next best (two, Rodrigo).

After just two wins from their first 13 league games, relegation fears have already been raised, certainly in punditry quarters, though Michael Dawson thinks Raphinha alone could keep them afloat.

“Raphinha, who I think is top, any of the top teams could come and get him,” Dawson said on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday [27/11/21]  .

“Raphinha could keep them up on his own when he’s fit.”

Ex-England striker Bent replied: “He might not be there in January, though.”

No chance in winter window

Leeds would be waving goodbye to their Premier League hopes if they sold Raphinha in January.

The Brazil international is head and shoulders the club’s best player and everything seems to come through him.

There are other good players in the Leeds side, but no one on his level.

If they’re struggling with him in the team, just imagine a Leeds XI without him.

There’s just no need to take the risk as there is surely no chance of the Whites being relegated this season, despite their current struggles.

Once they get their full collective back from injury and hit a bit of form, Marcelo Bielsa’s boys will surely be flying up the Premier League table.

If Raphinha is going to leave, next summer looks like the best bet, and it would be hard to deny him the chance to move to a Champions League side who are battling for titles.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are set to launch a seven-digit bid for this Brazilian centre-midfielder who tops Neymar in a significant statistic.