Pundit Exclusive: Leeds 23-yr-old can be the man to tear Chelsea apart
Noel Whelan has claimed under-threat Raphinha could be the man to dazzle TV viewers in the Leeds United showdown against Chelsea on Saturday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds striker and lifelong fan at Elland Road has insisted the 23-year-old needs to prove his ability to perform on a consistent basis after last week’s win over Everton.
The Brazilian winger stole the headlines against the Toffees with his winning strike in what was only his second Premier League start.
A summer signing from Rennes, he kept Portuguese star and former mainstay Helder Costa out of the starting XI for both the Arsenal and Everton games.
Whelan has insisted it is up to Raphinha to keep his performances to a high level and warned that Costa would pounce if he failed to deliver.
Whelan told Football Insider: “A point to prove against Chelsea? Off the back of a really good win and there were so many really good performances out there, I think you’ve got to look at Raphinha.
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“I think he’s got to back up his great performance from last week and the goal that he scored against Everton and I think we need to see that continuous bit of quality, if not better now.
“Every game that he plays, he needs to start getting better and better, proving more and keeping that position to his own because Helder Costa will be there in the wings waiting but I think he’s proven that he can be a real match-winner on the day.
“Against better opposition, no disrespect to Everton, but Saturday will be a different level of player that we’re going to be coming up against once again.
“These are the games you want to shine – it’s on Sky, people watching and people will be expecting more of the same from Raphinha.”
In other Leeds United news, Football Insider can reveal a first-team mainstay is a major doubt against Chelsea after missing training.