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Leeds: Raphinha could be axed against Norwich

Leeds: Raphinha could be axed against Norwich -Leeds United News

Former Leeds United defender Danny Mills believes that Raphinha could be left of the Whites’ squad entirely for the Premier League clash with Norwich City this afternoon.

The Lowdown: Raphinha in a rut

The Brazilian has been a wonderful signing from Rennes, excelling over the past two seasons and standing out as one of Leeds’ best players.

Raphinha’s form has clearly dropped off in recent months, though, with only one goal and one assist since the turn of the year.

Not only that, but he has arguably cut a sulky figure as the Whites have been drawn further into the relegation mire, with a massive home clash against fellow strugglers Norwich coming up on Sunday.

The Latest: Mills thinks Raphinha could be dropped

Speaking to Football Insider, Mills claimed that Raphinha could even be left out of the matchday squad at Elland Road, given his recent attitude. The 44-year-old fumed:

“With Raphinha, there was clearly one or two issues with him leading up to Marcelo Bielsa being relieved of his duties. He was taken off and then dropped for the Manchester United games.

“There has been murmurings all along he was looking for a move and there has obviously been a little bit of interest. Since Christmas, he hasn’t shown anywhere near the type of form that we’ve seen previously.

“Jesse Marsch will have to look at that. They are playing Norwich, it’s not a must-win but it is a must not-lose game, that’s for sure. Raphinha, even if he’s a little bit not quite at it, is he more likely to create and score? Possibly.

“Is it worth even taking him if he’s on the bench? His attitude hasn’t been the greatest. I know he came on and did well against Man United for 10 minutes. Sometimes players like that you might as well not bother taking him than putting him on the bench.

“It’s a difficult call for Jesse Marsch to make.”

The Verdict: Still likely to start

While Mills makes a fair point in terms of Raphinha’s form, it would still be a huge surprise if the Brazilian wasn’t involved in some capacity today.

He is still someone with the ability to win a match on his own – he is comfortably Leeds’ top scorer in the league this season with nine goals – and a moment of magic could make all the difference against the bottom-placed Canaries.

That being said, a massive improvement is required from Raphinha, both in terms of quality and attitude, with another poor performance likely to attract further criticism, especially if the Whites fail to pick up three points this afternoon.

In other news, one journalist has made a significant claim regarding Jesse Marsch. Read more here.

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Article title: Leeds: Raphinha could be axed against Norwich

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