Pundit Watch

Major Raphinha warning directed at Leeds United as career development plays out

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Leeds United winger Raphinha will not want to stay at the club if he continues to impress for Brazil on the international stage.

That’s according to former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor, who says that the 24-year-old will want to be competing at a higher level in the club game as well.

It’s probably fair to say that Raphinha’s first international call-up for Brazil this month has been a big success.

The winger has twice come off the bench for his country, providing two assists in a 3-1 win over Venezuela on his debut.

It has now been reported that the Leeds talisman will be handed his first start for Brazil in their final game of the international break against Uruguay on Friday morning.

However, it seems Agbonlahor believes that Raphinha’s success with his nation, could make it hard for Leeds to keep hold of the winger moving forward.

Asked whether Leeds will be able to retain the services of the winger long-term amid recent developments, the ex-England international told Football Insider: “I think it’s going to be very hard. Leeds need more investment in their squad, they need to start buying players that can keep them fighting even further up the table.

“Over the next year, year and a half, people like Raphinha will leave, his head will get turned by other clubs. Raphinha is getting into Brazil squads, he’s playing for Brazil now.

He’s not going to want to play for Leeds, he’s going to want to move and play for a bigger club that’s playing in the Champions League. Someone of Raphinha’s quality should be playing in the Champions League.

“It’s just the reality of football. If Leeds can’t invest and get a better squad that’s challenging to get into Europe he will want to leave. That’s just normal.”

Sadly for Leeds, it does feel rather hard to argue with what Agbonlahor is saying here.

The quality that Raphinha is showing week in, week out, for club and now country, is inevitably going to start to attract interest in him, considering he is showing what he can do at the highest level.

As a result, the rewards a move such as that could bring him, from both a footballing and financial perspective, would understandably be tempting for the winger.

That could make it hard for Leeds to keep hold of the 24-year-old, but given he will still have two years remaining on his contract next summer, they can at least be hopeful of receiving a decent fee for him, if he is to move on.

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UCLan Sports Journalism graduate. Have been working for Leeds All Over since summer 2020, and can only be found writing on Football League World.