FC Barcelona are linked with a host of players this summer in the transfer window. With Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen almost in the bag, and Haaland slowly slipping away from the hands of Juan Laporta, there’s another name that has popped up recently. Raphinha could be an option especially in the case if Ousmane Dembele leaves Barcelona on a free this summer.
Raphinha Dias Belloli or simply Raphinha is the winger who currently plays for Leeds United in the Premier League, and is linked with a move to the Camp Nou. The 25-year-old Brazilian international has drawn interest from several top clubs across the top five leagues in Europe. But is he the right kind of player that the club is looking for?
THE PROFILE OF RAPHINHA
Raphinha has 9 goals and 3 assists in 28 games in the Premier League this season. He takes a massive 2.7 shots per game, has won 0.6 aerial duels, and has a pass accuracy of 68.8%. The Brazilian can play on all positions in the front, as a number 10, and an attacking midfielder as well. He likes to cut inside and plays crosses inside the box. He had 6 goals and 9 assists in 30 games last season.
The 25-year-old’s strengths include taking set pieces, key passes, long balls, direct free-kicks, and dribbling. Since Leeds had a very open style of play under former manager Marcelo Bielsa, Raphinha is not that good at holding on to the ball, which is key for Xavi and his style of play with the Barcelona team. Raphinha plays primarily on the right-wing for Leeds United.
Xavi Hernandez currently has Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele, Adama Traore, and Gavi who can play on the flanks. However, the signing of Traore is unlikely to be made permanent for Wolves’ asking price of around 30 million euros. Therefore, only a swap deal is possible. The continuity of Dembele at the club is still in the air, despite his current form and state of mind under the manager lately.
The key is the agent
Former Barcelona player Deco represents Raphinha, and will play a pivotal role in bringing the player to Catalonia. There have been positive talks between his agent and the club, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano. Chelsea were leading the race for Raphinha before the sanctions and the selling crisis involving the Russian owner Roman Abramovic.
The player could arrive for a price of around 40 million euros if Leeds stay up in the English top-flight, which is now looking more and more likely. Barcelona are reportedly leading the race to sign the Brazilian, ahead of Liverpool and Bayern Munich.