Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Pundit continues war of words with Leeds with major Raphinha relegation claim

James Marshment
Raphinha challenging for the ball for Leeds

Leeds United would be staring down the barrel of relegation from the Premier League but for the brilliance of Raphinha, according to a controversial pundit.

The Whites have been plagued by injuries in what has been a difficult season so far Marcelo Bielsa. Indeed, Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester means Leeds have just two, three-point hauls to their name this season. However, after a solid display against Brendan Rodgers’ side, they at least go into the international break with a lot more optimism.

Indeed, Leeds created a plethora of chances to win the match against Leicester. To that end, big chances passed up by Jack Harrison, Dan James and Rodrigo Moreno means Leeds had to settle for just one point.

As it goes, there were many who feel the absence of Bamford has hit Leeds especially hard. The England striker has not featured for Leeds since sustaining an ankle injury on 17 September.

In his absence, however, Leeds can at least be indebted to the brilliance of Raphinha. The Brazilian has scored five Premier League goals this season, his latest coming in the draw against the Foxes.

That means the Brazil international has scored 45.45% of Leeds’ goals this season. Indeed, only Norwich in Teemu Puki (three of five) have relied more heavily on one player to score their goals.

And according to Gabriel Agbonlahor, Leeds would be in a huge pickle if it wasn’t for the Brazilian’s form.

Furthermore, he has called on the likes of Dan James and Jack Harrison to discover their scoring touches if Leeds are to avoid relegation.

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“Leeds, if they didn’t have Raphinha, they would be in the bottom two, 100 per cent,” the pundit told Football Insider.

“They rely on him so much. He’s a target when he plays, he’s close to getting injured every time he plays.

“They’ve got to be very careful, Leeds. Other players have to chip in, the likes of Rodrigo, James and Harrison. Even some of the centre-halves and full-backs need to chip in. You can’t just rely on Raphinha.”

Harrison yet to get off the mark for Leeds

Harrison for example scored eight times in his debut season in the Premier League. However, the former Manchester City man is yet to get off the mark this season.

Indeed, he missed a gilt-edged chance against Leicester to restore Leeds’ lead. However, from virtually two yards out, Harrison couldn’t adjust his feet in time and the ball cannoned over the bar.

Speaking to the BBC after the match, Bielsa said: “We created double the amount of danger than them.

“We dominated a large part of the game. We defended well and we attacked well. And even if we deserved to win, we didn’t manage to obtain it.

“We managed a good performances against a good opponent.

“Football has those moments, there was two identical plays. They had one goal ruled out the same way but we couldn’t finish our chance [when Jack Harrison missed from close out].

“Offensively we duplicated the opponents in chances. We took the ball off them a lot, and we had good possession.”

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