Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey admits he’s impressed by Raphinha and reckons the Brazilian winger gives Leeds United a “fine edge”.
Raphinha announced himself to the Premier League with a fine winner as Leeds beat Everton 1-0 last time out. The Brazilian, a £18m summer signing from Rennes, arrowed a low shot from outside the area past Jordan Pickford.
The winger enjoyed an outstanding game, however, and was a constant menace throughout.
Heskey said: “He looks pretty similar (to the wingers Leeds already have). They must have a certain category of players and they all fall into one basket.
“He’s got a lot of energy, going forward and back, which you need in a Leeds side because they play one v one all over the park. He’s got that little fine edge, that little finishing touch that goes with that as well.”
Raphinha’s display also earned plaudits from Marcelo Bielsa. The Leeds boss namechecked the Brazilian as someone who could unsettle opposing defences ahead of the clash with Chelsea.
Addressing the qualities he brings to Leeds, Bielsa conceded that he was a big fan of Raphinha.
“He is a player with the capacity to unbalance a team individually. His physical qualities are good, he is a dynamic player.
“It is not difficult for him to go forward and come back or to get in behind and defend.
“The characteristics of the team coincide with his way of playing.”
Parlour compares Bielsa to Wenger
Former Arsenal man Ray Parlour, meanwhile, thinks the job Bielsa has done at Leeds is similar to that of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
The Frenchman joined the Gunners from Grampus Eight in 1996 and transformed them into a dominant force in the game.
Now Parlour came see similarities after Bielsa hoisted Leeds into the top flight for the first time in 16 years.
Parlour said on talkSPORT: “Bielsa’s done a great job; the energy, the way they play, always on the front foot. Arsene Wenger was very similar. All he worried about was football and he watched videos of games you wouldn’t even think about watching.
“Some people are just football-mad and I think Bielsa will come into that sort of category. It’s not a bad thing.
“He will know every single footballer around Europe and say right away who can strengthen our squad, who we need to make us better. You have got to hold your hands up and say what a manager!”