Leeds winger Raphinha made his debut for Brazil during the international break as he featured in their matches against Venezuela and Colombia.
Despite this impressive achievement from the former Rennes man, another Leeds forward may have caught Marcelo Bielsa’s eye with his performances on international duty.
Welsh winger Dan James found his best form for his county over the break, with the summer signing from Manchester United excelling against the Czech Republic and Estonia.
In the first match against the Czech Republic, James was given the highest SofaScore rating in the game as he recorded a score of 8.2. He scored a goal in the 2-2 draw with a crisp finish from the right-handside and, per SofaScore, created an eye-catching four chances for his teammates.
On top of that, he also won 50% of his duels and completed 100% of his attempted dribbles – causing constant problems for the Czech defence.
James followed up on that display by putting in another solid showing against Estonia on Monday night. He completed 50% of his attempted dribbles and won four of his seven duels. Once again, he created another four chances for his teammates. This shows that he was sharp in the final third of the pitch and smart with his pass selection as he created multiple openings for other players to score.
Over the course of the two games, he scored once and created eight chances for Wales over the international break, whilst Raphinha failed to score and registered two assists from four key passes.
Therefore, James showed more than the Brazilian in the final third for his country and stole the show for Robert Pages’ men.
Bielsa will surely be delighted with James’ displays for Wales as it could give him a confidence boost heading into the next batch of Premier League matches. The forward is yet to pick up a goal or assist for the Whites since joining from Manchester United, making five appearances, and his superb form for his country could help him get off the mark against Southampton on Saturday.
The thought of him and Raphinha linking up together is now becoming a mouth-watering one.