Kessie, Christensen and now Raphinha. FC Barcelona have decided to play a major role in this summer transfer window, even if that means finances are already in the red. And if the Catalan club has put in a fine performance given the quality of its competitors in this case (Chelsea and Arsenal), the expensive signing (70 million euros) of the former Leeds and Rennes player does not bode well. .
It is well known that Joan Laporta is not the sole proprietor type. Last December, as the prospect of an Ousmane Dembele extension became more and more concrete, the Barca president did not hesitate to assure his player “better than Mbapp” . This week, the Spanish leader welcomed the great “return of yoga bonito” thanks to the arrival of Raphinha. “He really reminds me of the Brazilians who played for Barca before” , he added. Except that here the Catalan team may have given priority to Chelsea or Arsenal in this dossier for 70 million euros, there is nothing to indicate that the former Leeds resident will be part of the gratin of Portuguese speakers who have succeeded in the cules.
Principio de acuerdo con el @LUFCes para el traspaso de Raphinha
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) July 13, 2022
The exception that proves the rule
Laporta can align many qualifications to talk about Raphinha, his latest recruit raises more questions than solutions. Something to remember from the relatively recent twisted purchases that were Paulinho, Malcom, Nélson Semedo or Francisco Trincão. And yet everything led to this FC Barcelona in reconstruction no longer falling into its mistakes. With a newfound playstyle, grown youngsters pushed into the deep end by Xavi, and experienced new management determined to put the old aside, the floating ship seemed to be healing and finally on the right track. In fact, the Spanish ogre has taken better control of its spending in the market by attracting free players and renegotiating the contract of some of its leaders to lower its wage bill. Ousmane Dembélé’s extension, which was carried out no later than this Thursday, also went in that direction. But now in this craze, the Catalan team has decided to put 70 sticks on a 25-year-old player who offers no real guarantee – as Raphinha has only played 14 Europa League games in his entire career with Sporting and Rennes – talented indeed, but who fought last season to keep the Leeds side. Beware, if there are many doubts about the Brazilian winger’s ability to win in Xavi’s squads and meet the demands of European competitions and major events, Raphinha is not just someone who and will naturally want to close the door. of those who doubted him. Not sure if this is enough though.
Hello, Barcelona! pic.twitter.com/9ZSPJpslQq
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) July 13, 2022
This week, the Brazil international (8 caps, 3 goals) dropped his bags in a disaster zone, where the lone Dembele appears to be capable of an individual miracle. In a strong position in the negotiations for his extension given his previous contractual situation, the French arbitrariness nevertheless accepted the lower price terms of the FC Barcelona leaders to continue the adventure. But if the former Borussia Dortmund player (as well as Rennes) has watered down his wine to this level, he’s certainly made sure to tick the most important of the boxes: tenure. Does that mean Raphinha has enough belongings in her luggage to scare the owner away? At first glance, no. Author of a fair season with 11 goals (four from the penalty spot) and three assists in 36 games across all competitions, the winger is entering uncharted territory: where he will be asked not to limit himself to his position as a winger.
It is therefore certainly with the suit of the second knife that “Little Raphael” arrives in Spain, even if the 70 million placed on him indicates the opposite. And there may be the other concern. Not that the Porto Alegre native can’t fill this role – hard to complain when you have a twelfth quality man in his squad – but rather that Barca are trying to adopt a lifestyle that is no longer his. The Catalan side is undoubtedly no longer one of the clubs with the greatest economic dimensions, but is desperately trying to continue playing the lead role in a court that no longer controls them at all. Sent to the ropes for months by the modified uppercuts signed Josep Bartomeu and cothem Blaugrana emerged slightly and showed green bills for the first time in nearly a decade. All thanks to the sale of 10% of his TV rights to the Sixth Street company. An operation that yielded the nice amount of 207 million euros in an agreement for the next twenty-five seasons. Raphinha will then be 50 years old. And what place in Barça’s history?
By Matthew Darbas