McLeish: This is why Liverpool want to sign Raphinha from Leeds
Alex McLeish claims Liverpool are in the hunt to sign Leeds United sensation Raphinha because he is a matchwinner with a “tremendous” attitude and work rate.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Rangers and Scotland manager lauded the “intelligent” off-the-ball running of the Brazilian as well as his game-changing abilities in possession.
As revealed by Football Insider, Liverpool have set their sights on a potential summer move after Raphinha, 24, wowed their talent spotters.
A £17million signing from Rennes, Raphinha has established himself as a mainstay under Marcelo Bielsa and has four goals and four assists to his name since his move to England.
However, McLeish believes it is not just the winger’s ability on the ball but his willingness and hard work off it which will have impressed scouts.
Asked what he thought had caught Liverpool’s eye, McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Game-changer, a game-changer and we discussed his work rate weeks ago when he lost the ball and he chased a player right across to the other side of the pitch.
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“Not just that, when the ball went he went for that as well. Sometimes you can call that headless chicken but he was in a position where he could do it and it wasn’t drawing his defenders out of position for the opposition to go in between them.
“I was calculated, intelligent, football brain of a guy who also has a tremendous attitude off the ball, against the ball.”
Raphinha has played 18 times for Leeds so far, with 14 consecutive Premier League starts to his name.
He has the likes of Jack Harrison, Pablo Hernandez, Helder Costa and Ian Poveda for competition on the wings at Elland Road.
In other news, Football Insider understands Patrick Bamford is set for talks over a blockbuster new Leeds United deal.