Leeds United midfielder Raphinha has been tipped to join Liverpool, according to reports. Marcelo Bielsa is already on the lookout for a replacement.
This comes from Juve Live. The Italian news outlet are confident that the Brazilian starlet will make the switch from Elland Road to Anfield.
The report states that Raphinha is expected to leave the club at the end of the season, with Liverpool described as the player’s next destination.
Whether these reports are viable is questionable, although it is easy to see why Liverpool would retain an interest in the former Sporting Lisbon playmaker.
For one, he has effortlessly taken to life in the Premier League since completing a £17 million [BBC] switch from Rennes last summer.
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In 17 league appearences, Raphinha has clocked up four goals and five assists for the Whites.
And he even caught the eye of former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher during Leeds’ 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Monday night.
The Sky Sports pundit noticed similar qualities to Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, as well as Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling.
“We’ve all been there as players and as soon as someone comes in, you think: ‘Aye, aye’,” Carragher told Monday Night Football on Sky Sports.
“Some of his touches and his play when he comes inside, we’ve highlighted his movement as well.
“I was really impressed with him when I watched him at Leicester last weekend as well, not just by Raphinha, but (Patrick) Bamford as well.
“You see that shot there (before Bamford’s goal against Palace), that’s so typical of a wide man, that penetrating run that we talk about with Salah, Mane and Sterling, all the great wide players. They make that run and he does. He has great quality on the ball.
“He assisted Bamford certainly in that Leicester game when he fired that pass in and you look at his numbers there, he looks like a real player, certainly of late.
“I think we mentioned before the game that he’s been involved in seven goals in the last eight games, so he’s always a huge threat and that’s always telling when your team-mates know from one training session.
“I’ll never forget one player – as soon as Xabi Alonso came to Liverpool – it’s like you could tell in the session, the way he passed, the pace of the pass, the noise of it, as a dressing room you sort of step back and say that we’ve got one here and it sounds like that was what the Leeds dressing room did (with Raphinha).”
What RTK has to say
There is no questioning that Raphinha would represent a fantastic signing from Liverpool’s behalf.
Considering Jurgen Klopp and his team have struggled for goals as of late, the addition of an attack-minded midfielder would be a welcomed one.
Also, Bielsa’s high-energy systematic approach has drawn comparisons to Klopp’s full-throttle attacking system which could mean a seamless transition in regards to playing style.
Liverpool, too, need attacking alternatives to come up with answers in front of goal when Mane and Salah aren’t firing on all cylinders.
At 24, Raphinha certainly has all the credentials to become a top player. Let’s hope Juve Live can be trusted and that Liverpool can put themselves in the running for the Brazilian’s signature come July.