Former Leeds United defender Danny Mills believes that Raphinha can get even better for the Whites, having shone in his first season at the club.
The Lowdown: Superb first season
The Brazilian joined Leeds from Rennes last autumn and has undoubtedly been one of the Whites’ key performers this season. Raphinha has scored six goals and registered eight assists in the Premier League in 2020/21, catching the eye with his silky touch and dribbling ability.
The Latest: Raphinha tipped to get even better
Speaking to Football Insider, Mills claimed that the 24-year-old – who he dubbed a “class player” – could now go up another gear for the Whites next season. He said:
“He’s had his first season in the Premier League now it’s about building that robustness to play at that level week in, week out. The experience of this season will stand him in good stead for next year.
“We’ve talked about it many times, Bielsa almost works his teams to death at times. They are incredibly fit but it does mean, from time to time, new players who aren’t as used to it are going to break down and are going to pick up little injuries.
“After a season you’d expect those little bumps in the road to be ironed out and he can have a real good tilt at it next season.”
The Verdict: Vital figure for Leeds
As Mills has hinted, Raphinha may potentially have dipped a little in recent times, with a relentless season taking its toll as he has now gone four matches without scoring, but he is a huge player for Leeds moving forward.
When foreign imports come to England, they can sometimes struggle to adapt to life in the Premier League. However, the Leeds winger has hit the ground running, with Tony Cascarino describing him as ‘incredible’.
His knowledge of the league should, as Mills said, “stand him in good stead” for next term, although he must avoid the footballing equivalent of a difficult second album, and hopefully he can continue to excel with his end product and all-round effectiveness.
In other news, Leeds are reportedly eyeing up another left-back – find out who it is here.
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