Like a bus, Leeds United fans wait…and wait…and wait and suddenly transfer signings come by in whole lumps. It’s usually the case with buses that you have stood long enough and given up hope of them arriving, so you set off walking. The buses then careen past you.
In a way, that’s a pretty close analogy to the way that transfers seem to be working at Leeds United as the current transfer window enters its final throes. It closes Monday evening at 11 pm for incomings for Premier League clubs; it closes later for clubs below the top-tier wishing to do business with the Premier League.
Many names have been linked to Leeds United, the latest is Brazilian winger Raphinha who is currently on the books of Ligue 1 side Rennes FC.
Leeds United very close to a deal with Rennes for Brazilian winger Raphinha. In broad agreement on a fee – £17m plus add-ons. Bielsa still an admirer of Dan James but that hasn’t progressed at this stage. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) October 4, 2020
Where he’s come from – Raphinha’s football journey
Raphinha, or Raphael Dias Belloli to give him his birth name, started out in his native Brazil with Avai FC before leaving them in February 2016 for Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes and their B side. He’d made the jump to Vitoria’s senior side by that July. He spent a total of two-and-a-half years at the club before leaving for Portuguese giants Sporting in a near £6m move in July 2018. From there it was another move, this time with a £18.9m fee to current club Rennes.
What he’s done and where – Raphinha’s numbers
- Vitoria Guimaraes B: 16 games, 5 goals, 1 assist
- Vitoria Guimaraes: 84 games, 22 goals, 13 assists
- Sporting CP: 41 games, 9 goals, 5 assists
- Stade Rennais FC: 35 games, 7 goals, 7 assists
This season in Ligue 1, Raphinha has featured in five Ligue 1 appearances for Rennes, totalling 317 minutes of on-field action and providing 2 assists.
What will Raphinha bring to Leeds United?
The above graphic, courtesy of SmarterScout, shows Raphinina’s output for Sporting during the 2018/19 Liga NOS campaign. It shows that he tends to play predominantly down the right flank where he prefers to play high-volume passing with a mix of short (blue) and medium (green) passes with very few long (yellow) passes mixed in. He also likes to get in-and-around the box to take shots (grey).
He also rates highly on SmarterScout’s metrics, an explanation here, which rates a player’s actions out of a total of 99 – reminiscent of FIFA’s ranking stats. In the above season for Sporting, Raphinha was rated at 75 for attacking output, 96 for receiving balls in the box and 93 for shooting. He was also rated 81 for his ability to disrupt an opponent moves, 67 in recovering the ball from opponents and 63 for his link-up play.
Raphinha – a move worth making for Leeds United?
Marcelo Bielsa runs with a lean squad at the best of times, it’s his way. What is also worth bearing in mind is that the Argentine genius only ever brings players in that he thinks will benefit what he currently has at his disposal. Raphinha has obviously been scrutinised by the Whites scouting and analytical set-up. WhoScored have him down as having the sort of strengths that would be needed at Leeds United: dribbling, playing through balls, creating chances and finishing.
In short, definitely worth a punt.