With the absence of Ousmane Dembele from the FC Barcelona squad due to an injury, Xavi has given greater attacking responsibilities to Raphinha. The Brazilian’s performances in this period have also gone on to justify this greater role, and Raphinha now enjoys the complete confidence of Xavi.
Raphinha was bought by FC Barcelona from Leeds United for a fee of €48 million plus €12 million in variables. Since his arrival, he has played 42 games for the Catalan club, in which he has scored 9 goals and given 10 assists.
According to a recent report from Daily Mail Online, Arsenal and Newcastle United are currently monitoring the situation of the Brazilian winger amid the current economic crunch being faced by the Camp Nou-based outfit.
However, the operation is somewhat complicated, as more than €40 million of the player’s transfer fee is yet to be amortized. The club would be compelled to approve a sale only if the proposed fee is around €80 million, which will allow the club to gain an overall profit from Raphinha’s transfer.
Raphinha underwent a gradual and long developmental process before coming to Europe. He came up through the youth ranks with the Brazilian club Avai FC and made his debut with the first team at the age of 19. Shortly after his debut, he moved to the Portuguese Primeira Liga, joining Vitória Guimaraes. After two years at Vitoria, he joined Sporting Club for a fee of €6.5 million.
His football journey took him to France next, as he joined Rennes for €21 million in 2019. A year later, he joined Leeds United for €18.6 million, where he went on to make a name for himself and attracted the attention of the top European clubs.
Thus, FC Barcelona believe that the Brazilian will continue on this trajectory of growth and development, as he becomes increasingly incorporated into the team. His technical skills, ability to maintain tactical discipline, and defensive contributions are especially valued by Xavi. However, his future away from Camp Nou can also not be entirely ruled out, as the club looks for ways to lighten its current financial burdens.