Robbie Keane claims Leeds man could play for any top side in the world
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Robbie Keane claims Leeds man could play for any top side in the world

Robbie Keane has told Sky Sports (broadcast on 16/1; 16:26) that Raphinha could, without doubt, play for any top side in the world after watching his performance for Leeds United in their stunning win over West Ham on Sunday.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men produced arguably their best display of the season at the London Stadium. Jack Harrison scored an amazing hat-trick for the visitors. And while Leeds rode their luck at times, they looked much more like their old selves against the Hammers.

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Obviously, Harrison will take many of the headlines. And there was praise for the likes of Pascal Struijk and Lewis Bate for their displays. But Raphinha looked to be back to his absolute best.

The Brazilian set up Harrison for the decisive goal. He has now had 10 goal involvements in the Premier League this season. And he was absolutely brilliant when in possession.

He was desperately unlucky to miss out on a second assist when Mateusz Klich’s goal was ruled out. And it may prompt some to wonder whether Leeds may face a battle to keep Raphinha this month.

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It does appear that the winger is more likely to sign a new contract. But Keane has suggested how imperative it is that Leeds hold onto Raphinha beyond this window, as he lauded his performance against West Ham on Sunday.

“All season, he’s been incredible,” he told Sky Sports. “Today he puts people on the back foot. He can score goals, he can assist like the last goal. He could play for any top four team in the world, no question.

“I mentioned before, you would hate to play against him because he can go both ways. He can come inside, he can go round the outside. If you sell him to a top team, that team could fold because he’s the one that gets them together.”

Leeds about to see best of Raphinha again as Bielsa’s men start to find confidence

Raphinha is, by some way, Leeds’ top goalscorer this season. He has scored some absolutely vital goals. And his performances during the first-half of the campaign will be reflected upon as being hugely important.

In recent weeks, he has perhaps not been quite as influential. His last three goals have all been from the penalty spot.

He has still done well. But he has probably not been at his very best. However, Sunday saw Raphinha return to the peak of his powers as Leeds looked better than they have all year.

And in truth, he was absolutely devastating.

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