Marcelo Bielsa has been quoted in his post-match press conference – as per BBC Sport Live’s coverage of Sunday’s draw between Leeds United and Arsenal – that while he was impressed by Raphinha, he did not do enough to shine.
Raphinha, 23, finally made his first Leeds start on Sunday evening as Leeds played out a highly-exciting 0-0 draw with Mikel Arteta’s men. It was only the former Rennes and Sporting Lisbon star’s fourth Leeds outing.
Replacing Helder Costa on the right flank, Raphinha looked sharp. He made a number of crosses and even came close with a curling effort in the first half, before striking the post during second-half injury time.
Many supporters were impressed with Raphinha after the full-time whistle, and Bielsa too applauded the South American attacker. However, the Argentine gaffer stated that Raphinha failed to do enough to shine.
“He worked a lot, he had the capacity to associate in his sector. We were able to get in behind down the right, it wasn’t necessarily him but he contributed,” Bielsa said.
“It was a positive performance but not enough to shine. He contributed to help the offence performance of the team.”
TBR’s view – How did Raphinha do?
Did he do enough to suggest to supporters that Bielsa’s decision to include him in the starting eleven over Helder Costa was the right one? Yes. Was his end product as good as it can be? Probably not.
But Leeds have a player on their hands. In what was his fourth appearance and only first start for a club in a completely new league and country, Raphinha really impressed. More game time, and he will only grow.