Raphinha’s arrival at Leeds United 12 months ago has to go down as an inspired piece of business.
The Brazilian arrived from Rennes and has settled into English football with absolute ease.
He has bought into Marcelo Bielsa’s ethos and has improved his game in unorthodox ways. Bielsa doesn’t do things by the book, something his vicious game of murderball proves.
It’s not every day you find a flashy winger who’s willing to work hard, press and track back all at the same time.
However, that’s exactly what he’s brought to Elland Road. Raphinha contributed to 15 Premier League goals last term and was mesmerising with the ball at his feet.
In terms of his work rate, only seven more players at Leeds recorded more presses to the opposition than the 24-year-old.
He has been a ball of fun on the right-hand side of the pitch but they could find a similar player for the left this summer.
That’s because Bielsa and Victor Orta are eyeing a move for Hertha Berlin attacker, Matheus Cunha.
Valued at around £26m, the Whites would have to spend a significant outlay on him but it would surely be worth it.
Like Raphinha, he knows where the goal is and he’s capable of picking out his teammates with a defence-splitting pass. Last term, the 22-year-old contributed to 11 goals in the Bundesliga.
Speaking about Cunha last year, former Hertha Berlin boss Bruno Labbadia said: “Matheus has something special. He can always produce something with a moment of individual brilliance.”
Tricky with the ball at his feet, he’s exactly like Raphinha in the way he takes on an opponent.
He’s also not afraid to work hard for the team. For instance, no player at Hertha last term applied more pressures (492) than the Brazilian.
It’s safe to say that Bielsa would absolutely adore a player of his qualities in Yorkshire. He is perfectly suited to Leeds’ way of playing.