Marcelo Bielsa is weighing up the idea of using Raphinha in a number 10 role for Leeds United moving forward, according to journalist Phil Hay.
The Lowdown: Raphinha shines for Leeds
The Brazilian has been a superb signing for the Whites, joining from Rennes last year and scoring nine goals in 38 appearances to date.
Raphinha has generally shone as a right winger, cutting inside onto his deadly left foot and wreaking havoc with his dribbling quality.
The Latest: Number 10 role mooted
It could be that Bielsa looks into using the 24-year-old in a more central number 10 position, however. Speaking in a Q&A for The Athletic on Saturday following Leeds’ 1-0 win at home to Watford, Hay outlined the possibility of Raphinha’s role changing.
When asked by a supporter if Bielsa would try Raphinha in a role behind the centre-forward, the journalist replied:
“I’m told that they have been discussing the possibility of Raphinha as a 10 but it’s not something Bielsa wants to rush into without working on. I can see aspects of Raphinha which would suit 10 although a Bielsa 10 needs to do a lot of defensive work too.”
The Verdict: Interesting move by Bielsa
It would be an ultra-attacking move to play Raphinha as a number 10, allowing both Jack Harrison and Dan James to start out wide, forming a speedy three-pronged attack behind Patrick Bamford or Rodrigo.
As Hay hinted, though, the Brazil international would need to produce a strong work ethic to thrive in that position, with Bielsa simply not accepting a luxury player there.
It still feels like Raphinha is best out wide – he has registered nine assists for Leeds – but it would be intriguing to see how he fares more centrally if the manager considers redeploying him.
In other news, one Leeds transfer target has a £10million release clause in his contract. Read more here.
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