Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Liverpool Plot Shock Swoop For £60m-Rated Leeds United Star: The Perfect Signing For Klopp?

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Pratik Das
The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.

Recent reports from Spanish media outlet Sport (image attached) state that Liverpool are keen on signing Leeds United winger Raphinha in the ongoing transfer window as Jurgen Klopp looks set to add to his attacking options ahead of the 2022/23 season.

The German tactician has identified the Selecao star as a potential successor to Sadio Mane. Raphinha can operate anywhere across the front three, but he is more comfortable down the right flank. Nonetheless, his team of representatives, led by former Chelsea midfielder Deco, have decided to wait for Barcelona’s approach to sign the playmaker.

When asked in a recent interview about his future, Raphinha told reporters, “The next game, against Japan.”

“Then I go on vacation. I have a contract with Leeds until 2024, my future is in the hands of Deco (his agent) and Leeds, I have my mind on the national team, on the game and also on my vacation – we need a vacation.”

“I have a contract with Leeds and this issue is resolved by my manager. When something is right, he sends [it to] me.”

With two years left on his contract at Elland Road, Arsenal are also keeping tabs on the 25-year-old.

Leeds United's Raphinha
Leeds United’s Brazilian midfielder Raphinha Dias Belloli celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Leeds United at Brentford Community Stadium in London on May 22, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency:
Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/)
Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Having come through the ranks at the Portuguese side Vitoria de Guimaraes, Raphinha joined Leeds United from Ligue 1 club Stade Rennais in October 2020 for a fee in the region of £17 million. Over the course of the last three years, the attacker has made 67 appearances for the Lilywhites, scoring 17 goals and assisting 12 more across all competitions.

Even the past season, the Brazilian attacker managed to score eleven goals while averaging 2.5 shots, 1.9 key passes, 1.8 dribbles, 0.9 crosses and 1.6 long balls per 90 minutes in the English top flight. He was one of Leeds’ shining lights in an otherwise awful season where they avoided relegation by just three points.

The Perfect Signing For Klopp?

With Sadio Mane expected to move to Bayern Munich in the not-so-distant future, there’s no doubt that Jurgen Klopp will have to bring in quality reinforcements in the wide areas if he intends on strengthening the current squad – and Raphinha fits the bill perfectly. The Porto Alegre-born attacker has sufficient Premier League experience under his belt, and one would only expect him to succeed more in Jurgen Klopp’s system that prioritises wingers as the main goal-scorers. Besides, with the doubts surrounding Mohamed Salah’s contract extension, the signing seems even more sensible. Aged 25, he is the perfect option for the Reds as he is clinical, aggressive, and highly effective down the wings.

(Stats from WhoScored)

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