Leeds United’s strongest XI after Raphinha joins on Transfer Deadline Day

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Leeds United signed Raphinha on deadline day to wrap up an impressive transfer window for the Premier league new boys.

Brazilian winger Raphinha joined from Rennes for £15million, signing a four-year deal with Marcelo Bielsa's side.

The 23-year-old followed the likes of striker Rodrigo, centre-backs Dego Llorente and Robin Koch, and fellow wideman Helder Costa in making the move to Elland Road this summer.

Leeds' summer business raises the possibility of quite a different starting XI in the top flight to the players who charged to promotion last season.

However, the spine of the team which won the Championship title by 10 points last term won't be changed much now that Bielsa's men are in the top flight.

That's according to Joe Mewis, Leeds United editor at the Daily Star's sister publication Leeds Live.

We asked Joe what he reckoned is their best starting XI now that the transfer window is closed.

"Leeds were never going go in for wholesale changes this summer following last season's triumphant campaign, but what Marcelo Bielsa and company have done is add international-level quality to a settled squad," he said.

"The likes of Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper, Stuart Dallas, Kalvin Phillips, Jack Harrison, Mateusz Klich and Patrick Bamford have been the spine of this team for two years and Bielsa won't change that now.

"New boys Robin Koch and Diego Llorente will battle it out to play alongside Cooper in central defence, with the German having a head start and beginning to look settled in the Leeds XI. 

"Raphinha looks to have the quality to be a Premier League starter and will threaten Helder Costa's place in the XI once he gets a few of those demanding Bielsa training sessions under his belt.

"Age and injury look to be denying Pablo Hernandez the chance to be a week-in, week-out starter, but he can have an impact from the bench when fit, leaving record signing Rodrigo as the best option to play in the number 10 role.

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"With Patrick Bamford answering his critics in style so far in the Premier League, his place leading the line is safe for now with the fiercely loyal Bielsa unlikely to rock the boat too much up front."

Leeds United's strongest XI: Meslier; Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas; Phillips; Raphinha, Klich, Rodrigo, Harrison; Bamford.

  • Premier League
  • Leeds United FC

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