When Ousmane Dembele left FC Barcelona in the last summer transfer window, it was increasingly looking like Raphinha would be the one to take charge of the right wing for this season. However, matters have uncovered wildly different from these expectations.
Raphinha did start on the right wing for the first game of the match. But got a red card in this match, which saw him miss the next two games with suspension.
In his absence, Lamine Yamal was given the opportunity to showcase his talent with the first team, and the teenager took that opportunity with both hands.
A new role for Raphinha
After his return from suspension, Raphinha had to struggle to get back into Xavi’s plans, who had a wealth of other attacking talent at his disposal. Thus, he played only ten minutes in the match against Osasuna. However, Raphinha kept on working hard to regain his form and Xavi’s trust.
Now, the winger has started two games for Barcelona, in which he has already scored two goals and created another two for his teammates. As SPORT reports, Xavi is also deploying him in a different scheme in the last few matches, with him inverting and Yamal taking charge of the wing.
Raphinha shining in new position
Raphinha has shone in this new role, and his good numbers are also showing this. Only in the Mallorca match, Raphinha scored one goal, assisted another, completed three successful dribbles, got on the ball eighty times, completed forty-nine passes with 80% accuracy, made three key passes, created one clear scoring chance, missed one good chance, won eight duels, and conceded four fouls.
He is also the second player in Barcelona to reach a double figure (10) in goals in this calendar year after Lewandowski (21). He is also the leader in La Liga in scoring from outside the box.
Thus, Raphinha is slowly getting an important position under Xavi. He is doing a good job in his new role as an interior, and this new position can help Barcelona break down the low block structure of the opponent teams more easily, and thus get important points against defensive La Liga teams.