Speaking in his post-match press conference after the 3-0 defeat to Chelsea on Wednesday night (via the Yorkshire Evening Post), Jesse Marsch revealed that Raphinha’s withdrawal in the second half of the fixture was more for precaution than anything else, as the winger was beginning to cramp up.
Regarding the current condition of the 25-year-old, the American manager said: “Raphinha’s [substitution] I think was more precautionary, he was cramping and I just wanted to make sure that we didn’t push him too much.”
Considering the fact that Leeds simply must secure a result against Brighton in order to give themselves any chance of beating the drop on the final day of the season, the fact that a player as important as Raphinha does not appear to have sustained a serious injury is sure to have left Marsch buzzing.
Indeed, over his 33 Premier League appearances this season, £40.5m-rated forward has been the Whites’ most dangerous outlet, scoring ten goals, providing three assists and creating nine big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.4 shots, making 1.8 key passes and completing 1.9 dribbles per fixture.
These returns have seen the £63k-per-week Brazil international average a highly impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.91, ranking him as Jesse Marsch’s second-best performing outfielder in the top flight of English football.
As such, it is clear for all to see that the availability of Raphinha on Sunday will come as a huge boost to Leeds’ chances of picking up a much-needed result against the Seagulls, especially with the likes of Jack Harrison, Tyler Robers, Daniel James and Crysencio Summerville all looking likely to be sidelined for the visit of Graham Potter’s side.