Football

Leeds struck dream transfer with Raphinha


After arriving from Stade Rennes in the summer, it’s fair to say Raphinha has taken like a duck to water at Leeds United in the Premier League.

Dubbed as “stardust” and as a “match-winner” by The Athletic’s Phil Hay, Raphinha has been an absolute revelation for Leeds this season in his debut campaign in English football.

In just 21 games in the Premier League, the 24-year-old already has an impressive tally of five goals and five assists. That’s not to mention a penchant for the spectacular, whether that’s through a stunning free-kick or a piece of magical skill like how he skinned Crystal Palace’s Gary Cahill.

How much is Raphinha worth now?

Less than £50m

More than £50m

More than £50m

It’s perhaps no surprise then that other clubs have sat up and taken notice of his performances this campaign, with reports in recent weeks even suggesting that reigning Premier League champions Liverpool have been “blown away” by the Brazilian ahead of a potential summer move.

With claims that the winger was bought for around £17m plus add-ons, there’s no questioning that Leeds appear to have gotten the better end of the deal.

Hay opened up on his move from Rennes in the summer, delivering an insight into why the French side appeared to be happy to take such a small transfer fee in the modern market.

He said: “My understanding of what went on at Rennes was that he was as happy to leave as they were to sell him, and it felt like, in the end, all sides got pretty much what they wanted.

“I was asking a couple of journalists over there, ‘why have they done this deal at this price?’ They said because, basically, if they get their money back on him, they would be happy with that, because they don’t think he’s been that outstanding.”

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson echoes thoughts himself, revealing: “He’s full of energy, he’s got a (good) work ethic as well where he works for the team, he just does everything right.

“I’m a big fan of his and the recruitment there to find that player, because for £17m, there will be people now scratching their head going ‘why didn’t we get him?’”

Given how he has performed for Leeds, there’s no questioning that Rennes could have, and probably should have, held out for much more than they actually got given his supreme talent.

The Whites won’t complain, however, as they got an absolute steal. Victor Orta pulled off an absolute dream deal in the £60k-per-week earning gem.

Meanwhile, Leeds could hire Bielsa’s dream successor in this 36 y/o…





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