Raphinha was handed his first Leeds United start on Sunday when they faced Arsenal at Elland Road and made a very good impression in the process.
After a very long two weeks of mulling over successive 4-1 defeats, Marcelo Bielsa’s side were back in action as they welcomed Mikel Arteta’s Gunners to Elland Road.
Both sides were keen to get back to winning ways after defeats of three-goal margins before the international break but it was Leeds who were the side in the ascendency for the vast majority of the game.
Dominating possession, the hosts had the lion’s share of possession and the chances, but failed to make it count and were left wanting more from the 0-0 draw.
The performance itself had nothing wrong with it apart from goals, and the efforts of Raphinha in his first Leeds start were extremely promising.
As Leeds gained control of the game, the Brazillian came into his own and wanted to make things happen every time he got possession. From early on he looked to test Bernd Leno from range, only to be unfortunate in slipping and firing well over.
Chances were aplenty for Leeds and Raphinha was at the forefront of a lot of them when he worked well with Mateusz Klich and Stuart Dallas on the counter attack to tee up chances for both in either half, that really could have opened the scoring.
One of Leeds’ best chances dropped to his feet late on from a deep cross, only for him to fire an off-balance shot against the upright, the third time Leeds struck the woodwork on the night.
His performance drew strong praise, though, as Leeds fans finally got a glimpse of him from the start of a game…
Raphinha showed in that game exactly what he’s about and how good he is going to be for us, even if Helder Costa has shown his quality this season.
He was very unlucky not to score late on but the chances will continue to come for him and his teammates if that is the type of performance we can expect from him.
What we can also come to expect now from that impressive display was that he was pressing as part of the unit and fit in seamlessly with how we operate in and out of possession.
Up next is a trip to Goodison Park and a very tough game against Everton, but with that performance under our belts, we should have the confidence to go there and take a point.