Raphinha’s rumours around a move to Arsenal have intensified this morning. Arsenal’s project is well recognized in world football and Brazilian links at the club might help with luring Raphinha in.
“If all goes well, Raphinha will sign for Arsenal in the coming days. The player’s environment explains that they haven’t heard from Barcelona in weeks.” [Adria Soldevila, Goal.com]
A done deal or a pressuring tactic to force Barcelona to make their move? It remains to be seen but one thing is clear, Arsenal are a serious candidate for Raphinha’s signature.
In both of Raphinha’s two seasons at the club, he’s been their number one attacker. Crucial goals and goal contributions have made him a fan favourite.
His first season was more productive from an overall game perspective as Leeds weren’t flirting with relegation. But his stats remained similar.
He scored 6 and added 8 in 20/21 season while he chipped in with 11 goals and 3 assists this season. Here’s how he fared this season:
WHERE DOES HE FIT?
Raphinha’s primary position is on the right-wing. He’s played all but two games as a right-winger this season. That’s not to say he’s a bad fit at left wing, on the contrary, he’s contributed to a total of 6 goals and assists combined in 9 games at left-wing in his two Premier League seasons.
Alongside Saka, the two could form one of the most exciting wing pairings in the league. But who makes way for who at the right-wing?
Saka is an extremely talented player with multiple layers to his attacking game and one who has unlimited potential from that right-wing spot. But looking at Arsenal’s benefit, he might be better off the left if Raphinha comes in. He’s overly familiar with the position already while Raphinha isn’t. Saka already mastered his crossing/dribbling angles from the left as that’s the position he grew up playing. He’s familiar with tucking into the midfield line and acting as an interior as well as being the widest player stretching the pitch on the touchline.
Raphinha would undoubtedly have more instant of an impact from his favoured position. What does he bring? A whole lot, but most importantly – chaos. Electric on the turn and when closed down, he’s exactly what you don’t want to come up against as a defender. He can go inside or outside and his Bielsa instilled mentality of chasing his marker down comes as a huge plus.
It has to be said that both Saka and Raphinha SHOULD absolutely be trialed in the position and nothing should be set in stone yet. With Jesus more to come, Arteta and Arsenal fans have every reason to be excited about their new possible attacking trio.
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