Leeds United star Raphinha could well secure a future move to Liverpool if he puts in a good performance today, in RTK’s opinion.
The Reds travel to Elland Road for their fourth game of the 2021/22 Premier League season.
After a dramatic week involving the availability of stars Alisson and Fabinho due to a complaint by the Brazil FA, it has now been confirmed that both will be permitted to play in the Super Sunday fixture.
However, it is not all good news for Liverpool, as this ruling will now allow Raphinha to play for Leeds as well.
While Marcelo Bielsa has manufactured a dynamic attacking unit, the right-winger is probably their most dangerous weapon.
Following a £17m move from Rennes last summer, Raphinha lit up the league in his first season in English football in 2020/21.
He scored six goals and assisted nine more in 30 league games (26 starts) last campaign.
His underlying numbers were superb too. He averaged four shots, 1.3 key passes, 3.6 tackles and interceptions and 5.3 dribbles per 90.
And it isn’t just his numbers that have impressed everyone. Raphinha is ultra-exciting to watch, bringing the typical Brazilian flicks and tricks in abundance.
Still just 24-years-old, it looks like he will develop into a top, top player in the next year or two.
Raphinha a typical Liverpool signing
So, Liverpool will be very wary of Raphinha, assuming he is ready to start the game.
With Andy Robertson only just back from injury, this will be his fifth game in fifteen days. He will be up against it when he has to try and mark the ex-Sporting man.
We think that the Scot could have a difficult game because of these reasons.
If Raphinha impresses, he could convince the Liverpool bosses to sign him next summer.
It is quite clear that Jurgen Klopp and co. are big fans of him. The Independent have recently reported that the club were first made aware of him after seeing him playing in a youth tournament in Brazil in 2016.
They have followed him throughout his career since then, but have always decided against signing him. He may not have been ready before, but if he tears Liverpool apart it will prove that he is ready now.
He would be a very similar signing to the likes of Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota. An inverted winger from a smaller Premier League side in the 23-25 age bracket with excellent underlying numbers.
And as we saw with both of those, they signed for the club after impressing in a one-off game against us.
So there is precedent.
It will be interesting to see how it all develops, both tomorrow and beyond.