Leeds United defender Diego Llorente has been quizzed by Spanish media outlet SPORT about whether or not Brazilian team mate Raphinha could make the leap to Barcelona. Raphinha, one of Leeds’ most important players this year, has been consistently linked with a move to the Catalan giants throughout the 2021/22 season.
Had Leeds been relegated on the final day of the season against Brentford, the Brazilian would have been available for a cut-rate price compared to his current market value. As things stand, he will cost them a substantial amount following Leeds’ survival.
A standout performer for the Whites this season, the 25-year-old winger scored 11 goals in 35 Premier League appearances this season. Llorente is currently away on international duty with Spain ahead of their June Nations League fixtures, which will see them face off against Portugal, Switzerland and the Czech Republic home and away.
In an interview with Catalan newspaper SPORT, Llorente was asked about what sort of player Raphinha was and whether he could make the leap to Barcelona.
SPORT: What can you tell me about your partner Raphinha?
Diego Llorente: “He is a player who is the typical overflow winger, who are increasingly difficult to find. He is not afraid to face the opponent over and over again. He has many abilities.
“Due to the style of the Premier, that there is more space than the Spanish League, he stands out a lot. I am very grateful for his work and professionalism.”
SPORT: Is it a style of play similar to that of Ousmane Dembélé?
DL: “Yes, surely, it also moves well in short spaces. He is a top player, who this year has given us a lot.”
SPORT: Do you see him with the capacity to make the leap to a great like Barça?
DL: “Of course, he has skills for it, then all parts must be understood to benefit everyone. But I see qualities for a top club club.”
SPORT: Raphinha has stood out in a team like Leeds that plays with many risks, does it cost more to play exposing so much?
DL: “It has its pros and cons. This year the teams had studied us more and it has been more difficult to find a good dynamic of victories. I have always liked this type of style, all my teams have been daring, it is demanding but it is enjoyable.”