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'Every time': Owen Hargreaves hails 'special' Raphinha after Newcastle draw

Owen Hargreaves had praise for Raphinha after a frustrating night for Leeds United. Marcelo Bielsa’s side just couldn’t put Newcastle United to the sword.

Leeds United will feel they should have beaten Newcastle United on Friday night. They went to St James’ Park and controlled large periods of the game – they just couldn’t put their hosts away.

The two teams shared 38 shots between them – 21 for Leeds, 17 for Newcastle – yet only found the new twice in the 1-1 draw. One of those goals came from Raphinha.

The Brazilian almost certainly didn’t shoot, however. He launched a dangerous cross into the box for Rodrigo but the Spaniard, noticing the trajectory on the pass, jumped over the ball.

Karl Darlow was left without a prayer as the ball nestled inside the far post. Raphinha had his goal and Leeds were infront.

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Allan Saint-Maximin equalised well but Raphinha had a chance to get Leeds in front again in the first half. Junior Firpo produced a wonderful run and cross to tee up his teammate but Raphinha took far too long.

He lost his chance and with it, Leeds’ best opportunity to win the game.

But that moment aside, Raphinha was fantastic and Owen Hargreaves made sure to praise him after the game. The former England midfielder is a big fan.

Hargreaves on Raphinha

“I think technically he’s a very special player, actually,” Hargreaves told Premier League Productions. “Every time he touches the ball, something good happens.

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“He’s positive, he gets his head up – his touch is always perfect. And I think he just makes the game look easy as top players do.

“So there’s potential there for even a bigger move, I’d say.”

That last line will be Leeds’ big worry, of course. Raphinha has shone ever since arriving in the Premier League and Champions League clubs will almost certainly come knocking with big offers soon.

For now, though, they undoubtedly have a top player at their disposal. Leeds could do with turning their early-season form around to make use of it, though.

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