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Leeds United: Raphinha tipped for number 10 role at Elland Road by Noel Whelan

Leeds United: Raphinha tipped for number 10 role at Elland Road by Noel Whelan - Leeds United

New Leeds United signing Raphinha has been tipped to take up a number 10 role when given the chance in Marcelo Bielsa’s starting XI by former Whites player Noel Whelan.

Bielsa decided upon a deadline day move for the Brazilian winger, paying £16.72m to Ligue 1 side Rennes and taking the Argentine’s summer spending close to the £100m mark.

The 23-year-old’s arrival offers Bielsa a potential attacking threat, with the forward having scored five goals and supplied three assists in 22 Ligue 1 appearances last term.

Expected to play a part when the international break is over, Raphinha’s role has now been discussed by Whelan.

Marcelo Bielsa could explore number 10 role with Raphinha

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Whelan predicted that Bielsa may opt to try the Brazilian in a number 10 role, saying:

“I don’t know too much about Raphinha but usually players with that amount of quality can play anywhere across that front three.

“So I wouldn’t be surprised if he does fit somewhere down the line into that number 10 role if need be.

“Generally these types of players off the wing into those central areas and link-up play with centre-forwards and the number 10 so to speak anyway.

“That’s what Marcelo Bielsa likes, he likes players that can adapt and play not just one role but two.

“He’s always gone into the market and got players who can play right-back and center-half. He looks for people can adapt.

“Even though very rarely will he change from plan A. If anything, all he does is drop somebody into a three at the back and that might be a right-back, generally Luke Ayling.

“He does look for players who can adapt across the line and Raphinha to me looks like he’s got a lot of ability and somebody who would not look like out of place if he does play as a number 10.”

Will it prove to be £16.72m well spent on Raphinha?

On paper, you couldn’t argue with Bielsa’s dealings in the transfer window. The Argentine tactician has done remarkably well to lure the likes of Spanish duo Rodrigo Moreno and Diego Llorente to the club, whilst the deadline day move for Raphinha seems a real transfer coup.

Raphinha now provides strong competition for the likes of Jack Harrison, Helder Costa and the emerging talent of Ian Poveda on the flanks at Leeds.

The former two have been Bielsa’s preferred options out wide in recent weeks and they may prove hard to budge, but as Whelan has said, Raphinha may not have to dislodge either of them if Bielsa opts to try a different tactic throughout the Premier League season. Indeed, the 23-year-old has played in a number 10 role on occasion during his career.

Will the Brazilian be worth the money paid for him? If he can frequently chip in with goals and assists, Leeds could very well have an exciting talent on their hands for years to come.

Do you think Raphinha is going to make a good signing for Leeds? Let us know in the comments section below…


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Article title: Leeds United: Raphinha tipped for number 10 role at Elland Road by Noel Whelan

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