Spanish newspaper AS claim Barcelona are ‘baffled’ by Raphinha following his Leeds United exit, with the report claiming his stats in training have impressed the technicians – but his form on the pitch has been less than inspiring.
Raphinha, 25, left Leeds after two years. A fee that is said to have cost Barcelona an initial fee of £50million, plus £5million more in add-ons. It is unclear if Barcelona have actually paid that amount of cash into the Leeds coffers.
At Leeds, the ex-Rennes and Sporting Lisbon attacker has had a hand in 29 goals during his 67 games. Since his move to Barcelona, he has clocked up 15 appearances – starting just nine times, completing 90 minutes only once.
In that time, Raphinha has scored one goal – and laid on two assists. AS report that Barcelona are baffled that Raphinha is performing well in training, but is unable to turn his stats at La Masia into impressive form on the pitch.
Entitled, Raphinha baffles Barcelona, the report says: “Raphinha’s first days were spectacular. In training, his intensity was applauded by the Barcelona technicians. But all these exciting arguments have been fading.
“Raphinha has lost his starting role, his role in the secondary team and seems mired in a rampant identity crisis. It’s true that he offers green shoots, but his appearances are more disappointing than anything else.”
Barcelona baffled by Raphinha following Leeds United exit
It is a shame, but maybe not a surprise for Raphinha and Leeds fans. Kalvin Phillips is also struggling at Manchester City since a £45million move to Pep Guardiola’s side. Raphinha is no longer a big fish, in a small pond – like at Leeds.
Of course, Raphinha may argue that he needs time to adapt and given a regular run in the team. But that is hard for Xavi, who has kept Ousmane Dembele and has other talents including Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati.
But Raphinha, who is likely to be a part of the Brazil National Team at Qatar, will have to start showing Barcelona and the club’s fans why they bought him. Or, the ruthlessness of the media or fans, will start to get to the winger.