Barcelona paid 13 million euros more than Transfermarkt valuation, they need to pay more to beat Premier League clubs, namely Chelsea, to acquire the right winger. That move has been criticized as unnecessary due to Barca’s unstable financial situation and recent failure to qualify for the Champions League group stage.
It is reported that the club are worried about Raphinha’s performance and may even consider selling him. But here’s why Barcelona shouldn’t give up on Raphinha right now.
Raphinha is a creative genius
Although Raphinha is a left-footed right winger who can break into the middle from the flank, he has actually been more of an assist than a goalscorer this season. Although most reverse wingers don’t know how to cross, Raphinha’s crosses are a threat.
Statistically, his average of 6.79 potential assists per 90 minutes is the second best in Europe’s top five leagues, behind only compatriot Neymar. Raphinha is averaging more potential assists per game than Kevin De Bruyne and Lionel Messi! Furthermore, he topped La Liga in terms of big chances created per 90 minutes and third in accurate crosses per 90 minutes.
Barcelona need players who can assist Lewandowski at the top. Raphinha can play an important role in the team.
Bad investment, not a bad player
Spending nearly 60 million euros on a winger who plays well but is not the one who can decide the game is a lack of investment for a team in financial difficulty.
Barcelona’s spending heavily on Robert Lewandowski is justified, because Lewan has proven his ability to score the game-defining goal. Although Raphinha is younger than the Polish striker, he is no longer at the age of development nor the ability to bring victory for the team.
But that doesn’t mean Raphinha is a bad player. From the beginning, he was priced very high because many other clubs tried to sign him. It’s not the worst signing in the world, and if Barcelona were in a better financial position, they wouldn’t be criticized as much.
Plus, Raphinha has been playing pretty well so far. Not entirely great, but calling him a “failure” is completely wrong.
Supply is scarce
Left-footed right wingers are in short supply. It is possible to count on the fingers of one hand the number of left-footed wingers who can play for a top club. Raphinha is a rare commodity. No left-footed winger in La Liga has more expected goals per 90 minutes than him, and no left-footed player has a better average number of passes per game. 3.33 of the former Leeds star.
Not the right time to sell
Raphinha’s performance has been scrutinized and underestimated. And the idea of selling him at this time is not advisable. His value is at a multi-year low. In the future, they could sell him, but Barca should wait and see if he improves and how he fits into the team’s short- and long-term goals.
Giving up a quality player too soon is rarely a good idea. Selling a player when they are being unfairly downgraded would be negligent.
Thanh Vu | 11:15 December 24, 2022