Leeds United

Leeds United fans will give the likes of Raphinha a “huge lift” at a packed-out Elland Road next season.

That is according to ex-Whites forward Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Leeds rounded off their season with a 3-1 home win over West Brom on Sunday.

It was the first time Leeds supporters watched their team in the flesh since a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield in March 2020.

Sunday’s result sealed a 9th-place finish for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, their best in the top-flight for almost two decades.

Whelan witnessed the victory as part of his media duties for BBC Radio Leeds and was taken by the inevitably raucous atmosphere served up by the Elland Road faithful.

He predicts that the Leeds’ 2020-21 signings will benefit from the fans’ backing next season.

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“It will make a massive difference,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

“You could see it when the players came out onto the field. There was excitement, jubilation, smiles on the faces in the stands.

“It’s been a long time coming for the players and the fans to actually experience that. Some of those, like Raphinha, have never experienced it at Elland Road.

“You could see it gave Raphinha and everyone a huge lift. It gave that extra bit of energy and emotion to the game. Just wait and see next season.”

Leeds United

Raphinha left Rennes for Leeds in October after the two clubs agreed £17million deal.

He dazzled in his first season in England, netting six goals and laying on nine assists in 30 Premier League appearances.

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