By Alex McLeish

12th Feb, 2021 | 8:00am

McLeish: I thought Raphinha was 'Rubbish' when Leeds first bought him

Alex McLeish has lauded Victor Orta for securing the signing of Raphinha for Leeds United last summer.

The former Aston Villa and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he was not sure what to expect from the Brazilian after the reported £17million fee the Whites splashed out for his capture.

Raphinha has established himself as one of Marcelo Bielsa’s star men since nailing down a starting role and has scored four and chipped in with a further four assists so far.

He was arguably the least high-profile of Leeds’ senior signings last season, with the likes of international stars Robin Koch, Rodrigo and Diego Llorente all moving to Elland Road.

However, McLeish has admitted the 24-year-old has already boosted his price tag significantly and suggested the Whites’ director of football Orta deserved credit for his capture.

McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Well, you’re thinking £17million? He must be rubbish but the guy has looked tremendous and the figures that are being bandied about nowadays, you’re thinking he’s already escalated his fee, his price tag.

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“Credit to the kid for coming in and playing to the level but again, that’s great recruitment and it’s down to the recruitment guys in a club, they are being challenged nowadays.

“Where it used to be just the manager who picked players because a scout phoned him and said: ‘Watch this guy on the video,’ oh, yeah, we’ll take him, you’ve got your whole recruitment team now that the manager relies on big time.

“I guess a lot of these players will be well known by Bielsa anyway, as long as the manager gets his say on who comes in as well.”

In other news, Football Insider understands Patrick Bamford is set for talks over a blockbuster new Leeds United deal.