Manchester United midfielder Fred has admitted that he would rather Leeds United be without Raphinha for this weekend’s Premier League clash.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side host the Red Devils on Sunday afternoon as the latest chapter in the clubs’ long rivalry is written. Leeds are full of confidence after beating Manchester City and drawing with Liverpool, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s second-placed team now in their sights.
Raphinha is out of the game, however, having failed to recover from an injury picked in the victory away to Pep Guardiola’s Man City earlier in the month.
Fred doesn’t want to face Raphinha
Speaking to Manchester United’s official website, Fred admitted that he would rather not face his fellow Brazilian at Elland Road, simply because of the talent the 24-year-old possesses. The midfielder said:
“Bruno’s been talking about Raphinha ever since he arrived. They played together at Sporting.
“He’s a great player having an amazing season and a lot of clubs have their eye on him. I met him recently, great guy, excellent player but…I hope he won’t be lining up against us!
“I wish him a quick recovery and a lot of success in his career. He’s a stand-out star player for Leeds so, of course, it’s better for us if he’s not on the pitch.
“If he does play, we’ll look to mark him carefully and work on our game-plan as best as possible. We’ll try to nullify his threat to come out on top in this game.”
Transfer Tavern take
There is no denying that Raphinha’s absence comes as a huge blow for Leeds, considering that the Brazilian has been one of their standout players this season. Not only has he delivered end product, chipping in with six goals and six assists in the league, but he creates space for teammates, due to the opposition focusing so much on stopping him.
Leeds still earned a draw against Liverpool without Raphinha, however, showing that they can get by without him, with Helder Costa potentially keeping his place for the visit of the Red Devils on Sunday.
In other news, one pundit has been talking up Leeds’ potential move for an established international player. Read more here.
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