Raphinha has been a sensation in Premier League since his big money move from Rennes two seasons ago and his influence increased at the club with the long term injury suffered by their star striker, Patrick Bamford, scoring 11 Premier League goals in 35 appearances.
As expected, Raphinha rose to talismanic status and almost suffered the ignominy of relegation from the League, but the Leeds hierarchy ended the rot with the dismissal of the eccentric Marcelo Bielsa, and hired Jesse Marsch confirmed the club’s Premier League status for an additional season.
With Bukayo Saka playing every game while fit and Nicolas Pepe not showing any consistency or fight to challenge the young Englishman, it is evident that Arsenal would need a new winger, so it was no surprise when Arsenal was heavily linked with a move for Raphinha, even though it has also been reported that Barcelona are planning to sign the winger.
Arsenal has already secured the services of Fabio Vieira and are also linked with a move for Lisandro Martinez, so adding Raphinha to the mix clearly shows Arsenal’s intent to bolster the squad this summer ahead of what would be a grueling Premier League, Europa League and World Cup campaign.
Raphinha will clearly be an upgrade on Pepe and challenge Saka for a first team berth on the right flank, as I will not expect a player of his quality to be content with a place on the bench. In as much as I’d love to have me some of the sambalicious Raphinha goodness, Arsenal, in my honest opinion, hasn’t plugged the vast hole that has been left with the departures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, so that proposed fee of £60m for Raphinha would be better invested in securing the services of Gabriel Jesus.
It also feels like Raphinha’s link with Arsenal is a ploy to get an improved bid from Barcelona, that had their initial bid of £47m rejected by Leeds United. Whatever the case may be, whoever that ends up with Raphinha would have an exceptional footballer on their hands – amazing technique, bags of creativity, lethal from set pieces, decent finishing and an unpredictable opponent to come up against courtesy of his insane dribbling skills.
So what do you think – buy or pass? See you in the comments.
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