£17m for Raphinha looking like an absolute bargain

30 Nov 2020 08:56 am, by YorkshireSquare

The final week before this summers transfer deadline was very much focused around bringing in Michaël Cuisance from Bayern Munich to much fanfare. But it wasn’t to be, and perhaps that has turned out to be a good thing. There was a lot of hype around Cuisance, potential perhaps but he had in no way lived up to that hype for Bayern and their fans didn’t seem particularly bothered to let him go. With the collapse of the Cuisance deal Victor Orta moved quickly, as he and Marcelo Bielsa set their sights on Raphinha, a player who they had both been tracking independently for some time.

Whilst there was hype around Cuisance, Raphinha was busy delivering the goods for Stade Rennais in Ligue 1. What’s more the Rennes players and fans alike seemed pretty annoyed to be losing a great player, and that’s a good sign! The night before completing his move to Leeds Raphinha played for Rennes against Reims, scoring one goal and assisting another. After the game in the dressing room his teammates begged him to stay, but Raphinha is ambitious, the Premier League was his destiny. The next day, with the deal close to completion the Rennes fans hit out at Leeds on social media.

“Go **** your mothers with your fish-and-chip country” was a particular highlight of the vitriol aimed towards Yorkshire over Le Manche from Brittany on Twitter. But it’s was clear to see why there was so much animosity even from the Brazilians first brief spells as a substitute for Leeds. He is an absolute baller and at just £17 million Leeds appear to have had Stade Rennais over a barrel. A seven-minute cameo against Villa revealed a glimpse of what he is capable of including that defence splitting pass that took five Villa players out of the game.

His first start against Arsenal, taring it up down the left wing in place of Helder Costa. Quick and direct with an ability to bring the ball under control with east he is a nightmare for any defender. It was an impressive full debut nearly topped off with an injury time goal as his left-footed effort clipped the side of the post with Bernd Leno beaten. Again this weekend he gave the Everton defence plenty to worry about all game, on the left, on the right and cutting inside too. It was once such move inside which lead to his shot and debut goal giving Leeds a deserved win.

Leeds United haven’t had a great track record with Brazillians, Roque Junior and Adryan hardly setting West Yorkshire alight, but in Raphinha we seem to have a player on our hands. Marcelo Bielsa said of Raphinha after the Everton game; “He has all the attributes to adapt quickly to the Premier League. He is potent, he moves all around the pitch and he can unbalance an opponent from everywhere.” And adapt to the Premier League he has! Raphinha is going to be one exciting player to watch, at £17 million he’s an absolute steal. I’d be miffed if I was a Rennes fan too!