By Noel Whelan

20th Nov, 2021 | 8:00pm

Whelan fears Raphinha to be 'targeted' at Leeds after what he's just seen

Noel Whelan has raised fears Raphinha could be “targeted” by rivals after establishing himself as a star for both Leeds United and Brazil.

The former Leeds striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, warned the 24-year-old would be on the end of some rough treatment from opposition players.

Raphinha was at the heart of a controversial incident in Brazil’s clash with Argentina on Tuesday (November 16th) after appearing to be elbowed by Nicolas Otamendi.

The Brazilian was left with a bloodied mouth while the Argentine escaped punishment.

In a statement issued by Conmebol, two officials have been suspended over failing to deal with the incident.

Whelan warned Raphinha could expect to face similar treatment moving forward.

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He suggested Leeds would need to be “careful” with their South American talisman.

“Look, top players get marked very well in games now,” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“Especially when you’re recognised as a player that’s got flair and can change your game in an instant.

“He’ll deal with that, he’ll thrive on that. He carries a lot of weight on his shoulders and I think he enjoys that, to be quite honest with you. I think he likes being that main man.

“Yes, we need to be careful and watch him. Obviously, once you are targeted as a dangerous player in a side, you can get some challenges a little bit naughty. They to try and get him off his groove.

“He seems to be a level headed player, he’s got a good head on his shoulders. I’m sure he can manage it.

“He’ll be another player on Sunday that will be looked at and targeted as one of our threats.”

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