The future of Leeds United winger Raphinha appears to be increasingly uncertain.
That’s according to a claim made by Pete O’Rourke, with the journalist revealing in a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT that, following Marcelo Bielsa’s sacking as the Leeds manager, speculation surrounding the Brazil international’s future is only likely to increase – with the 25-year-old recently reported to have rejected the opportunity to open new contract talks at Elland Road, in the midst of interest from both Chelsea and Liverpool.
Speaking about the forward’s future, O’Rourke said: “I think, going forward, there is going to be a lot of speculation with regards to Raphinha’s future.”
Meanwhile, after the winger was withdrawn at half-time in the 3-0 loss to Everton, before being left out of Bielsa’s starting XI in the 4-2 defeat to Manchester United, Frank McAvennie stated his belief to Football Insider that the Argentine’s decision to leave Raphinha out of his lineup was a baffling one – before suggesting that the Brazilian could leave at any moment.
Regarding the attacker’s situation, the former Premier League centre-forward said: “I really don’t get it, it’s crazy to me. Raphinha is a player who can score goals in any game, with Bamford not there why would you not play him?
“He’s a game-changer. For me, even when he’s not scoring the Leeds fans are on their feet because they think something is going to happen. He absolutely destroyed West Ham when I watched that game. The boys didn’t know how to handle him.
“Bielsa has to sort that out as soon as possible. Why would you risk upsetting him? Teams want him, we know that. He could agree a move at any time, don’t annoy him.”
Considering just how impressive Raphinha has been since his £17m switch to Elland Road back in October 2020, should Marsch go on to lose the services of the winger in the summer transfer window, so soon after the American manager joined the club, it would undoubtedly be something of a disaster for the 48-year-old.
Indeed, over his 30 Premier League appearances last season, the £36m-rated attacker was in astonishing form for the Whites, bagging six goals, registering nine assists and creating 12 big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.2 shots and making 2.1 key passes per game.
These returns saw the player Illan Meslier dubbed “unbelievable” and Bielsa labelled “dangerous” earn a quite remarkable seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.14, ranking him as Leeds’ second-best player in the top flight – of those to play five or more Premier League fixtures.
The £63k-per-week forward has continued this form over his 24 league outings in the current campaign, having scored nine goals, provided two assists and created seven big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 2.7 shots and making 2.1 key passes per fixture.
As such, while it is true that Marsch tends not to operate with traditional wingers, it is nevertheless clear to see that losing the services of Raphinha during his first summer as the Leeds United manager would come as a huge blow to the American, leading us to believe that the new coach must do everything in his power to convince Raphinha that there is a very important role for him within the new-look Leeds team.