Arsenal join the race to sign Leeds winger Raphinha

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Written by Martin Graham | 11 June 2022

Arsenal have joined the list of interested parties waiting in line to sign highly-rated winger Ravenha from Leeds United.

The Brazilian player has seen his shares skyrocket over the past two seasons, and his impressive performances have made him the focus of interest from a host of top European teams.

Barcelona have been the team most closely associated with Ravinha, but their current financial struggles have cast major doubts about their transfer ambitions.

According to The Telegraph, Arsenal have now joined the list of suitors, with Barcelona likely to cool their interest in the 25-year-old. The Brazilian was fiercely inclined to join the Catalan giants, but financial constraints mean the dream may have to be ditched.

Speaking of a possible Ravenha exit, Leeds boss Jesse Marsh claimed in May that the Brazilian remained a key player for the club and remains fully committed to his project.

He said, “He is 100 percent invested. His emotions, which have been talked about, can be interpreted as a lack of discipline.”

“I see it as a total investment. I didn’t think about this part for me.”

Raphinha won’t come cheap for either side

While Barcelona was credited with taking interest in Ravenha, Leeds were in a difficult situation and were facing a relegation battle. Should the Whites suffer a drop, they were willing to let the player leave for around £21m. However, Leeds escaped relegation against all odds and based on this, the player’s value was said to have risen to £55m.

Arsenal will need adequate formation depth, given their return to Europe and it is not surprising to see Mikel Arteta looking for ample reinforcements.

Rafinha could join the growing list of Brazilians at Arsenal, as well as teammates Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli in north London.

From a tactical point of view, Ravenha also plays well for Arsenal as he normally plays on the right side but can fit in on the left side as well. He can also act centrally as a 10 if needed and his speed will come in handy with Arteta’s playing style.

Arsenal also have an advantage in their pursuit of Ravenha, given that the club’s technical director Edu is Brazilian and has a good relationship with most of the Brazilian internationals.

However, it remains to be seen if Arsenal have the financial strength to meet the Leeds valuation or rather whether they will spend that amount on a single player. Arsenal may have to sell players first to raise funds for such a move, and Nicolas Pepe has been identified as the person who could end up leaving the club this summer.

Martin Graham is a sports writer for the MFF Forum

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