Fabinho 'expected' Raphinha to join Liverpool after brilliant first season at Leeds United

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho says he "expected" the Anfield club to sign Raphinha last summer, such has been the winger's impact at Leeds United.

The pair are now international team-mates after Raphinha made his Brazil debut last month, reward for an excellent first season at Elland Road. That form has continued in 2021-22, and on the international stage.

Fabinho has been impressed.

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"Raphinha, since he arrived in the Premier League, has been performing and standing out very well at Leeds," he said.

GROWING REPUTATION: Leeds United winger Raphinha, capped by Brazil for the first time this month

"Even in the summer transfer market, there was some talk that he could go to Liverpool, I even expected that to happen, but he stayed at Leeds."

Raphinha has been hugely impressive at Leeds, where he tends to be used as a right-winger, and after his performances from the bench in his first two games for Brazil, there is an expectation that he will be handed a first start at home to Uruguay in Friday's World Cup qualifier.

"He is Leeds's best player," said Fabinho. "Whenever a team is going to play against them, they know that Raphinha is the player who can cause the most danger.

"After his first call-up, he started very well in both games, he made an impact against Venezuela, he played a part in the three goals. Against Colombia, he came in and played very well.

"The attributes he has are unique. A left-footed player who can go either way. This is very important for our team. Against Colombia he made our best plays and he can help us a lot."