'Huge Leeds Blow' - Exclusive: Whelan view amid journalist's Raphinha update
It would be a “huge blow” for Leeds United to be without winger Raphinha for their game against Everton, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Whites striker and boyhood Elland Road fan delivered his verdict after Marcelo Bielsa revealed at his pre-match media conference on Monday the Brazilian may miss Wednesday evening’s game.
Raphinha limped off with 10 minutes to go in their 3-1 win over high-flying Leicester City at the weekend.
Writing in The Athletic, journalist Phil Hay said, “Rodrigo will miss out tonight” and Raphinha is unlikely to start against Everton.
There were also worries about Patrick Bamford who was in visible pain after the final whistle but Bielsa confirmed the pair would not be missing long term.
Asked by Football Insider what it would mean to be without Raphinha on Wednesday evening, Whelan said: “Raphinha for me is a huge Leeds blow because we’re now seeing the quality he brings and what he’s all about.
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“Again, another great performance against Leicester and you cannot ignore the pass that set up Patrick Bamford for the second goal. That was just a pass of beauty, everything about it.
“It had vision, the weight of pass, the angle of the pass into him. Not many players can produce that sort of quality.”
Raphinha has been a massive success in west Yorkshire since his summer move from French side Rennes.
The 24-year-old has started all of their Premier League games since being introduced as a half-time substituted against Crystal Palace at the beginning of November.
In other news, Leeds United have responded after a late swoop for Sam Greenwood.