TBR View: Raphinha must seize Liverpool audition today for Leeds
All eyes will be on Elland Road this afternoon as Liverpool travel to West Yorkshire to take on Leeds United in the Premier League.
Leeds have struggled to get going this season as yet. They’ve not quite got to the energy levels of last season, and Marcelo Bielsa will hope today can be a turning point for this team.
Liverpool, meanwhile, come into the game in fine form. A win will see them move onto ten points and among a cluster of teams at the top of the Premier League table.
But while eyes will be on the game in general, the more observant Liverpool fans will also surely be keeping tabs on Brazilian winger, Raphinha, who has been cleared to play for Leeds.
The Reds have been tracking Raphinha for some time now. Indeed, reports this week suggested it has been a transfer potentially in the making since 2016.
Raphinha has certainly showcased his talents in a Leeds shirt so far since his £17m arrival from Rennes. Of course, that £17m fee looks quite the bargain now.
But if Liverpool are serious about maintaining their interest in Raphinha, and he does indeed want to make that next step in his career, then today is a chance for the Brazilian to stake his claim.
The likes of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane won’t be around forever at Anfield.
In fact, it makes sense for Jurgen Klopp and the club to already be looking at longer term replacements for the duo. Raphinha, then, fits the bill in more than ways than one.
A good performance today from Raphinha will only add more weight to the argument for Liverpool to make their move next summer. The Brazilian hit six goals on his debut season last term, another nine assists to his name since his arrival as well.
If he can build on that this season, as well as putting in a good display in front of Klopp today, then we could end up seeing Raphinha in Liverpool red this time next year.