Friday, September 29, 2023

Manchester City To Target This Barcelona Winger: Decent Replacement For The Algerian Forward?

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Ankit Seth
Ankit is a 24-year-old, aspiring to have his voice heard through what he writes. Charismatic and frankly moral, adhering to his principles and beliefs. Out to search for a purpose in life and yet to settle on that matter.

According to a report from The Sun, Manchester City are eager to replace Riyad Mahrez with Barcelona winger Raphinha. It is understood that Pep Guardiola does not want to leave any box unchecked as he looks to find a suitable replacement for the Algerian international, whose impending departure has prioritised signing a forward in this transfer window.

Raphinha’s Impressive Form For Barcelona Last Season

Raphinha showcased an impressive form for Barcelona in the last season. As a key member of Xavi’s attacking setup, the Brazilian winger delivered a string of productive performances. He found the back of the net ten times and provided eight assists in 50 appearances across all competitions.

In the final third, the 26-year-old proved a reliable asset for Barca, with noteworthy averages of 2.2 shots, 1.6 key passes, and 1.3 dribbles per game in La Liga. His proficiency in distributing the ball from the right flank was evident through a pass completion rate of 79.9% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Barcelona’s Brazilian forward Raphinha shoots during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and CA Osasuna at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 2, 2023. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Is He Decent Replacement For Manchester City Star Riyad Mahrez?

Raphinha and Riyad Mahrez are highly skilled wingers celebrated for their dribbling prowess, creativity, and goal-scoring talents. Nonetheless, they possess some distinct characteristics that set them apart.

Mahrez follows a more traditional winger role, often cutting inside to take shots on goal. His scoring record speaks for itself, with an impressive 78 goals in 236 appearances for the Sky Blues. On the other hand, Raphinha remains a versatile winger, comfortable playing on either flank. He excels in passing and crossing, evident from his assists for Barcelona last season.

In summary, Raphinha emerges as the more well-rounded winger compared to Mahrez. He demonstrates superior passing and crossing skills and flexibility to operate on different sides of the pitch. However, Mahrez outshines Raphinha in terms of goal-scoring proficiency.

Despite these differences, Raphinha could potentially serve as a worthy replacement for Mahrez at Man City. His talent and abilities make him a promising fit for the Premier League, as we’ve seen during his time at Leeds United, and his style of play aligns well with Pep Guardiola’s system. Hence, the Sky Blues have done well in identifying him as a potential target this summer.

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