Liverpool are reportedly interested in Leeds United’s Brazilian winger Raphinha.
What’s the word?
That’s according to transfer insider Dean Jones, who had the following to say to GIVEMESPORT:
“That is one thing to consider. If they are serious about Raphinha, then they’ve got that little trick up their sleeve that they can suddenly offer a player that would really help Leeds out.
“And it will help them fulfil the player’s ambition to make that switch that he’s looking for. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if something like that ends up being put to them.”
Liverpool’s new Coutinho
Raphinha has long been linked with a move away from Elland Road, with Barcelona as the reported destination for the 25-year-old. However, with recent news of Sadio Mane’s exit plans, Jurgen Klopp has perhaps reaffirmed his sights on the Premier League star.
With Takumi Minamino also linked with a move to the Yorkshire club, perhaps this could be the swap deal Jones hints towards.
Other than their shared homeland, Raphinha shares many similarities with former Reds favourite Philippe Coutinho. Both have a patented Brazilian flair, with the former boasting 1.82 dribbles completed per 90, and ranking in the 90th percentile for progressive passes per 90.
He also received the highest SofaScore rating in their relegation deciding victory at Brentford, outlining him as the man for the big occasion.
Under Klopp, it is certain that these numbers could be doubled and that Raphinha could reach the current levels of Mane and Salah.
His current skill level often leaves his teammates spellbound, with Daniel James labelling him a “magician” who is good value for his national team call-up.
With silky skills, the capability to score a screamer, and yet also with the statistics to prove that he is willing to do the dirty work, Raphinha stands out as a natural Jurgen Klopp signing with a hint of Coutinho running through him. He ranks in the 91st percentile for blocks per 90, and averages 17.71 pressures per 90 too.
Having shown he has all the ability to compete in the Premier League, perhaps a move to Merseyside could be just what is needed to help the £40.5m-rated dynamo take the next step up in his career, to become a world-class star just like the Brazilians before him.