Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Leeds United Join The Race To Sign Barcelona’s Midfield Ace: A Massive Coup For Bielsa?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Sport, Leeds United have joined the race to sign Rafinha. The Barcelona midfielder is expected to leave Camp Nou as part of Ronald Koeman’s massive squad overhaul this summer. Rafinha is determined to join the Premier League, with Barca expecting around €16 million and it seems Leeds United have emerged as the potential destination for the Brazilian.

Can Rafinha Succeed In The Premier League?

A product of the famed La Masia academy in Barcelona, Rafinha is yet to play in the Premier League. However, he has featured in over 110 games in La Liga while spending a short time on loan at Inter Milan.

As far as gameplay is concerned, the Brazilian is not exactly a robust midfield enforcer. But, he does have the temperament, as well as the work-ethic that tune in well with English football. His experience of a quick-passing game at Barcelona should also become useful in dealing with the fast-paced nature of the Premier League football.

That said, the 27-year-old must adapt his game to an extent if he is to succeed in the English top flight. He can’t overly rely on his technical qualities and needs to become a better team player, especially if he does move to Leeds United.

A Long-Term Replacement For Pablo Hernandez?

Rafinha’s potential arrival at Elland Road is an interesting prospect for Marcelo Bielsa, to say the least. It appears that the Barcelona midfielder could be used as a primary alternative for Pablo Hernandez.

Leeds United have joined the race to sign Rafinha - Set for a new chapter.
BILBAO, SPAIN – AUGUST 16: Rafinha Alcantara of FC Barcelona looks on during the Liga match between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on August 16, 2019 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

The Spaniard is one of Leeds’ best players heading into the new season. At the age of 35, however, Hernandez may find it challenging to cope with the fitness requirements of the Premier League. That is where Rafinha could come into the fray.

The 27-year-old is a different type of midfielder. But he can provide the much-needed creative spark in the middle of the park while his ability to rotate possession quicky tunes in well with Bielsa’s possession-based style of football.

Can Bielsa Make This Happen?

While one might argue that Rafinha could be an unrealistic option for Leeds United, it is fair to point out that the Brazilian is desperate for some regular first-team football. Elland Road, in that regard, could be an ideal destination as he seeks to revive his career following a barren spell at Barcelona.

However, as the report pointed out, negotiations between Leeds United and Barcelona will not be easy. The newly-promoted Premier League outfit are yet to make any move to sign the midfielder and still have a lot of ground to cover if they are to finalise this deal.

Not to mention, Leeds United will have to beat other interested parties in their bid to sign Rafinha, whose €16 million price-tag could make him an absolute bargain for Premier League clubs this summer.

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