Arsenal legend and TV pundit Paul Merson believes Leeds United winger Raphinha would be a good fit for Chelsea.
Raphinha, 24, has been the shining light in an indifferent Leeds outfit so far this season as Marcelo Bielsa’s side linger in 16th place, just above the relegation places.
This rather poor start has left many people questioning the Argentine tactician as to whether he is good enough long-term to help build the northern side back up to one worthy of competing for silverware once again.
One of these, Merson, has not held back in his scathing and honest assessment of Bielsa in his latest Daily Star column.
He wrote: “I’ve never quite understood this ‘genius’ tag which some people attach to Marcelo Bielsa.
“Don’t get me wrong, I do think he’s good and I totally respect the opinion of a top coach like Pep Guardiola who can’t praise the Leeds boss highly enough.
“But I just don’t get it. Just my opinion but a valid one nonetheless. I don’t buy into it.
“Leeds have hit a brick wall and he needs to change things around. The trouble is, I don’t think he’s got a change in him. Whatever the ‘B’ stands for in Plan B, it’s not Bielsa. He hasn’t got one.
“His teams are full blast from the word go. They are great to watch as a neutral but it’s predictable and now Premier League coaches are wise to it.
“Anyone surprised that Leeds have only won once this season, perhaps shouldn’t be. Teams are changing the way they play them.”
As a consequence of an underwhelming opening chapter to the new season, one would assume that the futures of respective Elland Road stars including Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha would be in question if things were to stay the same come the end of the season.
The latter of the three has been linked to the big Premier League clubs already and Marina Granovskaia could join the race for the Brazilian after the Blues had also been linked with Allan Saint-Maximin before the £300million Newcastle was completed earlier this week.
And the former Arsenal man believes the 24-year-old has what it takes to make the step up to the next level and perform well at a club like Chelsea if they were to make a move in the upcoming transfer windows.
“He’s got Patrick Bamford into the England squad when you couldn’t have seen that at one time. Kalvin Phillips is very good and has blossomed under Bielsa and Raphinha could play for anybody you want to name and I’d include the likes of Man City and Chelsea in that,” the former midfielder stated.
Three goals in seven Premier League games so far this season in the top flight is not a shabby return at all, as the Leeds wide man could turn out to be the west Londoners’ next Willian in their quest to find a long-term solution for that specific position following Hakim Ziyech’s difficult spell so far.
His WhoScored.come rating of 7.17 proves that the Leeds man – who is valued at £28.8million by transfermarkt – is a viable option for Granovskaia and co in the upcoming transfer markets.
Source by Football London