By Noel Whelan

22nd Dec, 2020 | 1:00pm

'He Glides Across Pitch, I Love Watching Him' - Exclusive: Top pundit in awe of Leeds player

Noel Whelan has heaped praise on Leeds United winger Raphinha after his display against Manchester United.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Whites striker and boyhood Elland Road fan claimed the 23-year-old was “instrumental in everything Leeds did” at Old Trafford.

The Brazilian provided the assists for both of Leeds’ goals in their devastating 6-2 loss to Man Utd – becoming the first away player since Tony Hibbert in 2012 to assist two goals against the Red Devils at Old Trafford.

They were the wingers’ first assists for his new club after his £17million move from French side Rennes in October.

Raphinha has missed just five minutes of Premier League action since being introduced at half-time against Crystal Palace in November.

“He’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant,” Whelan told Football Insider. “I love watching him play. He glides across the surface, lovely touches.

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“The game comes very easily to him and he’s got a lovely touch, fantastic vision.

“We saw the shot from Raphinha which drew a fantastic save from David De Gea. Again he was instrumental in everything Leeds did.

“He’s fit, he’s lively, always getting into really good bits of space in between the lines, picking the ball up, he’s available whenever. He’s a great acquisition for the team.

“We still haven’t seen the best out of him. He’s going to get better and better the more games he plays so he can get used to our strengths and weaknesses.

“There’s no doubt he’s a very, very intelligent footballer and given the space, he will hurt teams.”

Raphinha’s only goal for Marcelo Bielsa’s side came in Leeds’ 1-0 win over Everton at the end of last month.

In other news, Football Insider can reveal Barnsley have had a six-figure bid accepted for a 21-year-old Leeds United academy product.