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Raphinha

Raphinha had 20 minutes to make Leeds transfer call and ended up chasing Premier League dream

12:09 BST 12/04/2021
Raphinha Leeds 2020-21
The Brazilian forward completed a move to Elland Road from Rennes as the summer window in 2020 prepared to slam shut

Raphinha has revealed that he was given just 20 minutes to make a decision on joining Leeds United, with the Brazilian chasing a Premier League dream as a summer transfer window prepared to slam shut.

The Whites moved late to prise the Brazilian forward away from Ligue 1 side Rennes, with top-flight newcomers giving themselves little time in which to further bolster Marcelo Bielsa's ranks before another market closed for business.

Fortunately for them, Raphinha had always wanted to ply his trade in the English top-flight and was able to offer a green light to a deal that has worked out well for all concerned.

What has been said?

Raphinha has told FourFourTwo on how his move to Leeds came about: "The board said, ‘We’ve accepted an offer from Leeds, so now it’s your call: do you want to leave or stay?’

"If I wanted to leave, there was a private flight waiting for me to go to England and undergo a medical before signing the contract.

"Well, if I said it was a simple decision I’d be lying. It was definitely a tough decision. And I had 20 minutes to give my answer! Pretty complicated, right? 

“On the one hand, I’d just helped Rennes reach the Champions League for the first time in their history, and it would have been brilliant to take part in that unique campaign. 

"On the other hand, I had the offer from a traditional, huge club like Leeds, who were also enjoying great momentum having returned to the Premier League."

The 24-year-old added: "Believe it or not, English football has always been my number one target. As long ago as I can remember, when I started watching football on TV, the Premier League was there. 

"I enjoy watching English games, because it’s a special league full of tradition, great clubs, managers and players. It’s also competitive, as there are so many top-quality teams.

"My desire to play for an English club was my first thought before signing for Leeds, so you can imagine how pleased I am now wearing their shirt in the Premier League."

How has Raphinha fared for Leeds?

The talented South American has quickly endeared himself to the Leeds faithful with a number of twinkle-toed displays.

His quick feet and penchant for the spectacular have allowed promising stock to continue soaring in England.

Raphinha has contributed six goals and as many assists to the Whites cause, with admiring glances now being shot in his direction from elsewhere in England.

Speculation suggests that Manchester United and Liverpool are among those keeping a close eye on the tricky winger's development, with there the potential for another big-money move to be in the pipeline.

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