Leeds winger Raphinha says that he feels “really happy” to be a part of the club but is itching for fans to return to Elland Road.
The Brazilian has proved one of the signings of the season in the Premier League after joining from Rennes.
Since his October arrival, the 24-year-old has scored five goals and assisted five others in 21 league games.
However, his relationships with colleagues such as Patrick Bamford have proved equally key in helping Leeds become the fifth-highest scorers this term.
Raphinha’s instant connection to the English top flight has already brought about speculation over his future. Indeed, Liverpool and Manchester United are two clubs supposedly keeping watch.
Speaking to LUTV, however, Raphinha insisted that his only qualm at the moment is the lack of fans.
“First of all, I’m really happy to be here in Leeds being part of this institution and it’s a real pleasure,” he said.
“I’m really enjoying the city, despite not being able to see or discover that much of it.
“I’ve really been made welcome here. I’ve been embraced by all the players, the coaching staff, everybody here at the club, the fans as well.
“I’ll be a lot happier when we’re able to see all the fans in the stadium. So yes, I’m doing really well.”
Raphinha hailed the “affection” his colleagues have shown him, adding that they have made life in West Yorkshire “really comfortable”.
As for how his move to the Premier League came about, the former Rennes man was forced to make a quick decision over his future.
Raphinha opens up on move from Rennes
“I first found out about the interest when the clubs were coming together the day before a Rennes match. So it was at the last minute, we had a game,” he said.
“Before the game, I was told that I needed to make a decision there and then on the spot to decide whether to stay or go.
“The way I felt when I found out the club wanted me, that the coach wanted to sign me, you felt embraced and wanted and that’s an important factor in the decision.
“I think for any player it’s important that you are not just seen as a commodity, but you also feel wanted and embraced as a person. ”
Despite his somewhat rushed move, he has taken to life with “Professor Marcelo” Bielsa well.
Bielsa hailed for helping Raphinha
“Professor Marcelo is a really demanding coach and I personally like that. I like working with demanding coaches,” Raphinha added.
“He’s someone who always wants to win, so that helped a lot with me, adapting and settling to the club.
“He always wants to see our best and that’s been really important ever since I arrived here at the club.
“He’s helped me with advice on positioning on the pitch. Also he’s provided me with the freedom to be myself and I think that’s really important for a player that you’re working with someone always demanding the best and we all win.”
Leeds return to action on Monday when travelling to London to face West Ham.