Whelan salutes 'great buy' from Orta as Leeds star Raphinha dazzles for Brazil
Noel Whelan has lavished praise on Leeds United director Victor Orta after a dazzling Brazil debut from Raphinha.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites striker is over the moon for Raphinha, 24, to make such an impact on debut.
The winger provided two assists on his first appearance for the Selecao, as they came from behind to beat Venezuela 3-1 away from home.
As quoted by the BBC, the winger said Brazil manager Tite asked him “to do what he does for Leeds” after the game.
Raphinha’s call-up is a reward for his stellar form in the Premier League so far this term.
The former Stade Rennais midfielder has scored three in seven league games during a slow start for Leeds United.
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Whelan beamed about the “exciting” Whites star, heaping praise on director Victor Orta for his role in bringing Raphinha to the Yorkshire club.
“Everyone still keeps an eye out for the Brazil side, don’t they, even though they don’t have players like Ronaldinho anymore,” he told Football Insider‘s Russell Edge.
“But he is one of those players who is like Ronaldinho and those other exciting stars of old.
“It’s fantastic, personal-wise, for Raphinha to get that first cap, be involved in all three goals and grabbing two assists which seal the win for Brazil.
“It just shows you what a great buy he was, at a snip at £17million. Doing it for club and country, it’s just a tick and a tick for Victor Orta.”
Raphinha signed for Leeds United from Rennes twelve months ago for a reported initial £17million.
He impressed during his first season in England, scoring six and assisting nine in 30 Premier League games.