Noel Whelan has heaped praise on Raphinha for his improved level of performances this season despite Leeds United having to endure a difficult period.
Raphinha has visibly taken his game to the next level after an impressive debut season for Leeds United on their return to the Premier League. His improved displays recently earned him a call-up to the Brazil national side, as he looks to settle in that Selecao side full of superstars.
After the previous international round, Chelsea star Thiago Silva had praised Raphinha’s impact with the national team. The wide attacker has made massive improvement to his game, having played a crucial role in Leeds’ season so far, despite the team’s struggles in the Premier League.
He has scored five goals this season, which is roughly 45% of all strikes by the club. With Marcelo Bielsa missing some of his key players in the frontline, Raphinha has taken the responsibility to keep things afloat.
In fact, since his impressive first season with the Yorkshire club, there are heavy links to Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp reportedly likes the Brazilian for what he offers from a wide role. As the season progresses, Raphinha is expected to better his goals tally and play a crucial role that could determine Leeds’ finish at the end of the season.
45% – Raphinha has scored 45% of Leeds' goals in the Premier League this season (5/11); the highest percentage for a player whose team have scored 10+ times in the competition. Talisman. pic.twitter.com/cvjNBOmaeK
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 7, 2021
Former Whites striker Noel Whelan was on hand to heap praise on the Brazilian. While talking to Football Insider, Whelan praised Raphinha’s work rate on and off the ball, claiming he is already a world-class player.
Whelan said, “There’s no doubt he’s world-class; we knew that as soon as he came into the club. He stands out all over the field. He’s shouldered so much expectation, and pressure whilst Bamford’s been out – really taking the game to the opposition.
“There’s not many flair players who do as much as he does off the ball, either. He’s not afraid of digging in, doing the horrible work. You wouldn’t see Neymar putting in the work that Raphinha does; he’s better than him in that aspect. He oozes quality when he’s out there on the field, and he makes the whole stadium sit up and take notice.”