Former Leeds United goalkeeper Paul Robinson believes that deadline day signing Raphinha will have to wait for his first team debut.
Whites manager Marcelo Bielsa continued his summer spending on deadline day with the arrival of Brazilian winger Raphinha from Ligue 1 side Rennes for a figure of £16.72m, taking the Argentine’s summer spending close to the £100m mark.
With the international break now upon us, the forward could make his official debut for the Yorkshire club when Wolves visit Elland Road on Monday 19 October.
The arrival of the 23-year-old hands Bielsa a potentially potent option who scored five goals and supplied three assists in 22 Ligue 1 appearances last term.
However, the potential of Raphinha’s debut is not massively exciting former Leeds player Robinson, who claims the right-sided winger will have to earn his his place in the Whites’ starting XI.
“It’s down to Raphinha to prove what he can do in training and take the shirt from Harrison or Costa, who are in the men in possession at the moment,” Robinson told MOT Leeds News.
“We’ve seen Tyler Roberts and Rodrigo playing in the midfield too so Bielsa’s not afraid to play attacking players in the centre of the midfield as well.
“I’ve been told that the coach is very demanding, he puts different demands on players compared to what he used to so I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see him for a couple of weeks to get ‘Bielsa-ready’.
“It’s very, very rare these days that the same 11 is picked each week with teams and formation picked demanding on the opposition and players’ fitness.
“There’s going to be a lot of game-time for Raphinha.”
Joining Raphinha in arriving at Elland Road this summer are the likes of Rodrigo Moreno and Diego Llorente, with Bielsa spending a total of £96.1m (as per Transfermarkt).
Robinson may have a fair point. Raphinha is an exciting talent but that does not necessarily mean he will be a starter under Bielsa, who has trust in the likes of Helder Costa and Jack Harrison.
Costa and Harrison were a large part of Leeds’ promotion and Championship title success last term, contributing as a duo with 10 league goals and 12 assists.
Of course, having multiple options on the flanks is a bonus for Bielsa, who has seen his side start well in the Premier League this season.
Do you agree with Robinson? Does Raphinha have to earn his place in Leeds’ starting eleven? Let us know in the comments section below…
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