football

Manchester United could steal summer transfer window with surprise Leeds signing


Football works in mysterious ways and Manchester United could end up counting their lucky stars that they didn’t land Jadon Sancho for £90million. Not only have Borussia Dortmund almost halved his price-tag but now there is one standout talent that could make United think twice when reassessing their stance on signing the England international.

Raphinha has simply been a revelation since joining Leeds from Rennes last summer, in a deal worth £17million.

There are shades of Riyad Mahrez when he glides inside on his right foot with devastating effect.

Marcelo Bielsa took his time when embedding Raphinha into his side but his patience has been well worth the wait.

Since Raphinha’s first Premier League start for Leeds on November 22, the stats do all the talking.

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Anthony Martial has also looked a shadow of the player he was last season and the centre-forward spot is still heavily contested between Edinson Cavani and others.

United need a reliable and productive output from the right flank. The early signs suggest Raphinha could explode.

To date, he has five goals and five assists to his name in the Premier League and there’s every chance those figures could inflate at a Big Six club.

Crucially, Raphinha already has a close relationship with Bruno Fernandes and the pair have natural chemistry both on and off the field.

The United attacking midfielder admitted he missed the Brazilian after he joined Rennes in the summer of 2019.

“Raphinha, I miss Raphinha,” Fernandes said at the time. “He’s a player with whom I had a different chemistry from the others. He understood me at a glance.

“He knew, according to the movement of my body, where I was going to put the ball to him.

“I also miss him because he brought joy to the locker room. He’s also a responsible and hardworking person.”

Fernandes is a demanding figure, who tries to motivate his team-mates and get the best from his colleagues.

His verdict is a good yardstick when measuring just how good Raphinha really is. And since then he’s only got better.

Sancho remains the obvious choice but as Liverpool have shown in the market in recent years, there are huge rewards when thinking outside the box.

Raphinha is the exact kind of profile that represents the perfect investment and his qualities and work ethic fit United’s recruitment criteria like a glove.

The addition of Raphinha could prove to be the steal of the summer.





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