Leeds United are set to lose two of their key players this summer – Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips – losing the latter, in particular, will hurt because he is one of their own.
But that shouldn’t hide away from what Raphinha has done during his time in Yorkshire, including scoring 11 Premier League goals as they survived relegation by the skin of their teeth last season.
If Raphinha does head for the Elland Road exit door, then it seems as though those in the Yorkshire boardroom see Chelsea’s technical long-range passer, Hakim Ziyech, as a ‘viable’ target.
Back in January, Gary Neville claimed that the 29-year-old has a bit of ‘Mahrez feel about him’, after his belting goal during Chelsea’s win against Tottenham, as he told Sky Sports.
“I gave Ziyech the Man of the Match award, I just thought he did really well,” said Neville. “He’s up against real opposition within his own squad in the likes of Werner, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Mount, they can all play in that position.
“But he has got that Mahrez feel about him, with a dip of the left shoulder and a lovely left foot. He puts lovely deliveries in from set-pieces and it was a brilliant, brilliant goal.”
WOULD ZIYECH THRIVE AT LEEDS?
It has been a bit of a struggle for Ziyech in the Premier League, ever since Chelsea paid Ajax £34 million for his technical talents (Sky Sports).
The Morocco international has scored six and supplied the same number from his 46 Premier League games, so will he suit Leeds?
From a stylistic standpoint, he would fit, play on a regular basis, which he has lacked at Stamford Bridge, but he might not have the potent threat that Raphinha provides.
The Brazil star is more direct, quicker and aggressive in his play than Ziyech, but either way, he is a player that should be looked at this summer by Marsch and Co.