Saturday, April 8, 2023

Edu 'huge admirer' of £55m La Liga star at the Emirates

Arsenal could ‘revisit the situation’ of Barcelona winger Raphinha this summer, journalist Pete O’Rourke has informed Gunners247.

The 26-year-old was linked with a move to the Emirates last year; however, he completed a transfer to Barcelona instead from Leeds United for £55 million and has since become a key player under Xavi.

As per Football Insider, Arsenal are contemplating whether to launch a bid for Brazil international Raphinha in the upcoming transfer window.

The north London side are on alert in the event he is put up for sale in the off-season and Barcelona board members have earmarked Raphinha as one asset that could be sold to raise funds in the summer as the La Liga giants continue to experience financial difficulty off the field.

If the tricky winger is to be sold any time soon, La Blaugrana are believed to at least want to recoup the £55 million sum that they shelled out for the player at the start of 2022/23, which would make him an expensive import for any keen suitors.

Chelsea are also said to be interested in trying to entice Raphinha to Stamford Bridge, potentially creating a tug-of-war for his services over the next few months.

What has Pete O’Rourke said about Raphinha?

Journalist O’Rourke definitely reckons there is scope for Arsenal to pursue Raphinha in light of Barcelona’s financial situation.

O’Rourke told GMS: “I think there’s a possibility they could revisit the situation with Raphinha; it seems Arsenal sporting director Edu is a huge admirer of his fellow Brazilian; a lot will depend on what’s going on at Barcelona this summer. If they need to sell players to raise funds, which it looks likely, Raphinha could be made available on the market and I’m sure that will pique Arsenal’s interest if they think they can land the former Leeds man on a cheap deal.”

What are Raphinha’s stats like this season?

Raphinha has enjoyed a commendable debut campaign at Barcelona, registering nine goals and nine assists from 38 appearances in all competitions, as per Transfermarkt.

In La Liga, the 26-year-old has also managed to record an average of 2.1 shots per match across this term, according to WhoScored, showing his ability to regularly cause problems for opposition backlines when drifting in from the flank.

Despite Bukayo Saka being the preferred choice for Arsenal in the right-wing position, Raphinha is a versatile asset to have. The Porto Alegre-born ace can also operate on the left or through the middle as a central striker if required.

Should Mikel Arteta indeed be in the market for a forward player this summer, Raphinha is undoubtedly someone who could add another dimension to the Gunners’ attack heading into 2023/24.

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