Former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips believes Raphinha will want to leave Leeds United now that he has made his debut for Brazil.
The Lowdown: Raphinha makes Brazil debut
£28.8m-valued Raphinha (Transfermarkt) was included in Brazil’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers this past week against Venezuela and Colombia.
He made his debut from the bench against the former and produced an impressive display, providing two assists as La Selecao won 3-1. He also featured in the 0-0 draw with Colombia (Transfermarkt).
The Latest: Phillips questions Raphinha future
Speaking to Football Insider, Phillips believes Raphinha may now be looking to depart Elland Road if the Whites cannot invest heavily to push for European football. He said:
“I think it’s going to be very hard.
“Leeds need more investment in their squad, they need to start buying players that can keep them fighting even further up the table.
“Over the next year, year and a half, people like Raphinha will leave, his head will get turned by other clubs.
“Raphinha is getting into Brazil squads, he’s playing for Brazil now. He’s not going to want to play for Leeds, he’s going to want to move and play for a bigger club that’s playing in the Champions League. Someone of Raphinha’s quality should be playing in the Champions League.
“It’s just the reality of football. If Leeds can’t invest and get a better squad that’s challenging to get into Europe he will want to leave. That’s just normal.”
The Verdict: Top quality
Since making the move to Yorkshire from Rennes in France, the winger has slowly but surely evolved into one of Leeds’ most important players. Last term, he found the back of the net six times and provided nine assists in 30 Premier League games, and has already scored three times in seven outings in this term’s competition.
Will Raphinha be at Leeds next season?
Now he has embarked on an international career, and with Leeds not in or looking close to European competition, it will unfortunately be difficult to hold on to Raphinha in the long term.
While he is still 24 and has plenty of time ahead of him, it may not be long before he gets restless, but the silver lining is that Victor Orta and co will be in line to scoop a massive profit when he does.
In other news, Noel Whelan is excited by these Leeds plans.
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