Tony Cascarino has pinpointed a number of similarities between reported Liverpool target Raphinha and Paris Saint Germain starlet Angel Di Maria.
Cascarino, who works as a columnist for The Times, as well as a pundit for talkSPORT, said that the Brazil-born starlet is operating at a similar level to a peak Di Maria.
The 33-year-old Argentinian international enjoyed arguably his best season during his final year with Real Madrid in 2013/14, culminating in a Man-of-the-Match performance in the Champions League final victory against Atletico Madrid.
He has since gone on to represent Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain, winning four Ligue 1 titles during his time in the French top-flight.
Meanwhile, Raphinha is enjoying a stellar inaugural campaign in England’s top-flight this term since making the £17 million [BBC] switch from Rennes last summer.
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In just 18 Premier League starts under Marcelo Bielsa, Raphinha has clocked up an impressive five goals and five assists.
It’s no wonder, then, that Liverpool have been credited with an interest in the Leeds United midfielder. According to reports from JuveLive, Jurgen Klopp is intent on bringing Raphinha to Anfield this summer.
Cascarino on Raphinha
And Cascarino clearly thinks it would be a smart move from Liverpool’s perspective given his latest glowing referral on the former Sporting Lisbon talisman.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Cascarino said: “Do you know who he reminds me of? I am talking about the Real Madrid player that obviously went to Man United. He reminds me of Di Maria.
“When Di Maria was at his best, he ran, his continued work rate, his ability to go inside, pick passes, Di Maria at his very best was very like that, Raphinha.”
What RTK has to say
As we’ve said before, this is certainly a transfer saga we can look to get behind. However, it’s important that we look at the mitigating factors currently standing in the way of a proposed move to Anfield.
For one, it’s unlikely Leeds would be willing to sell Raphinha after just one season. Still, Liverpool could look to get around this by helping Bielsa find a viable and alternative replacement.
One way Klopp could accomplish this is by tempting the Whites with a player Bielsa was fighting to sign last summer. The player in question is none other than playmaker and Wales international Harry Wilson.
Indeed, Wilson would instead choose to move to his homeland with Cardiff City. He has an impressive total of four goals and 10 assists in the Welsh capital.
So, if Liverpool did want to get ahead in their reported interest in Raphinha, utilising Wilson this summer as a potential bargaining chip could go a long way in this potential deal picking up speed.