'That's what Marcelo likes' - Exclusive: Whelan identifies surprise role for new Leeds signing
Noel Whelan believes deadline day Leeds United signing Raphinha could play in the number 10 role at some point this season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds forward and boyhood Whites fan believes Marcelo Bielsa will have only signed the winger if he was adaptable.
Raphinha, 23, joined the Yorkshire giants on Monday night with the Whites paying French side Rennes a reported £18million fee plus add-ons for his services.
— Leeds United (@LUFC) October 5, 2020
Bielsa’s first choice number 10 Pablo Hernandez has missed Leeds’ last two games with an injury.
Tyler Roberts and record signing Rodrigo have shared the role in his absence with the Spaniard grabbing his first Whites goal against Manchester City on Saturday.
Asked by Football Insider whether he can see Raphinha offering Bielsa another option, Whelan said: “I don’t know too much about Raphinha but usually players with that amount of quality can play anywhere across that front three.
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“So I wouldn’t be surprised if he does fit somewhere down the line into that number 10 role if need be.
“Generally these types of players off the wing into those central areas and link-up play with centre-forwards and the number 10 so to speak anyway.
“That’s what Marcelo Bielsa likes, he likes players that can adapt and play not just one role but two.
“He’s always gone into the market and got players who can play right-back and center-half. He looks for people can adapt.
“Even though very rarely will he change from plan A. If anything, all he does is drop somebody into a three at the back and that might be a right-back, generally Luke Ayling.
“He does look for players who can adapt across the line and Raphinha to me looks like he’s got a lot of ability and somebody who would not look like out of place if he does play as a number 10.”
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