FC Barcelona finally, after months of speculation and drama, announced the signing of Raphinha from Leeds United. Raphinha was on Barcelona’s radar for a long time and was interested in joining them.
The Raphinha deal wasn’t easy to pull off as Leeds had other offers on the table, but the players’ will (willingness to join Barcelona) prevailed and Leeds had to let him go. Raphinha will sign a 5-year contract with Catalans in 2027. The deal is worth 50 million upfront and 5 million in bonuses.
Now that Daphnia’s deal is done and dusted, let’s analyze why he is perfect for FC Barcelona.
1. FC Barcelona Away under Xavi
Xavi Hernandez loves to have wingers in his team, especially those who can hold the line wide and, whenever needed, cut inside, being a menace to the opposition defense. Raphinha at Leeds did exactly the same things and was very successful in them. Raphinha was by far their best player on the field. He contributes with much-needed goals and he builds up from the right wing spot.
2. Genuine Winger ( out and out Winger)
As we have seen, Xavi Hernandez loves to have wingers at his disposal. He lacked their last season at Barcelona. He undoubtedly had the likes of Depay, Ferran Torres, Fati, and Dembele, but Fati was mostly injured throughout the season. Memphis Depay can play on the wings, but he prefers to play centrally as a no.10 or as a genuine no.9. Ferran Torres to loves to play in the middle, and last season he wasn’t that impressive whenever he was played on the wings by Xavi. So Xavi was left with only one Genuine Winger in Dembele last season. With the addition of Raphinha and possible Dembele( potential renewal), Xavi will have 2 out and out wingers who are quick and pacey enough to catch the opposition on the counter. Raphinha also provides that threat of shots from outside the box, which is always tricky enough to defend for teams.
3. Goal Scoring instinct
Raphinha has the electric speed to run riots on the field. He can easily take on 2-3 players at a time and still manage to squeeze in a pin-out cross or pass, leading to a goal. Also, Raphinha has a very clinical final third and the ability to score goals for fun, which Catalans lacked last season. Last season he managed to achieve 11 goals in 35 matches for Leeds United in the premier league and was one impactful player for them.
4. Technical Brilliance
Barcelona’s philosophy is always based more on technical abilities than physical attributes. Barcelona has always been a club that prefers technical abilities over physical attributes. A prime example of it is Sergio Busquets. He isn’t that physically imposing, but in technical aspects, he is far better than many other greats of the game. That’s the reason he is still considered untouchable by the Blaugrana team.
Coming onto Raphinha, he comes from Brazil, and Brazilian players are always technically gifted. They have got God-gifted footwork which can be fatal for any defender. Raphinha, since joining Leeds back in 2020, has been a headache for defenders to defend owing to his brilliant technical skills and ball dribbling abilities. Currently, Barcelona doesn’t have many good dribbles in their team, especially in since the infamous Lionel Messi exit last year. So, the Brazilian Raphinha could be a welcome addition to the team.
5. Much Needed Motivation Doze
Raphinha had to fight his own way to join Barcelona. He rejected offers from clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United, and PSG just to join Barcelona. Raphinha has always maintained that he has a dream to play at Camp Nou for Barcelona. Now that his dream is turning into reality, he will be motivated to get out on the field and prove his worth. His arrival and motivation can spark a feeling of insecurity among players as they will have to put in some extra work and deliver on the field as they might no longer remain the preferred choice. His arrival overall can lead to healthy competition among the players, which, in fact, could be fruitful for the team in the long run.
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Ashutosh Welankar Law graduate by degree. Football lover and blogger by passion.