Leeds United winger Raphinha is now one step closer to sealing his long-awaited exit from Elland Road…
What’s the word?
The Athletic’s Phil Hay has provided a major update on the situation to supporters on Twitter, where he said:
“Raphinha heading for his medical in Spain today. Deal in place and basically good to go.”
Time to say goodbye
This update, whilst largely expected, is going to leave many supporters around west Yorkshire absolutely gutted as whatever small hope they had of keeping the Brazil international has now been shattered.
Raphinha has been an electric and exciting talent for the Whites ever since his move from Stade Rennes in 2020. Indeed, much of their attacking fortunes throughout last season hinged on him out on the right flank.
Is Raphinha replaceable at Leeds?
No, not a chance!
He led Jesse Marsch’s squad for goals scored (11) and in terms of creativity, he also topped the charts, having averaged 1.9 key passes per game, which was a whopping 0.7 more attempts than any other Leeds player, as per WhoScored.
Described as a “magician” and a “storm” by soon-to-be-former teammates Dan James and Illan Meslier, it’s evident that Raphinha will be sorely missed and there is no way of knowing whether new summer singing Luis Sinisterra will step up to the demands of the Premier League so soon.
It comes as another huge blow as Leeds fans have already seen academy graduate Kalvin Phillips swap his boyhood club for the top-flight champions, Manchester City, leaving Marsch without two of last season’s biggest stars.
Some will be glad that this saga is coming towards an end, well in advance of the 2022/23 campaign, but that will not excuse feelings of sadness as Raphinha is arguably one of the most talented players to grace the Elland Road pitch, perhaps since the controversial Eric Cantona.
The 25-year-old, valued at £40.5m by Transfermarkt, will leave behind a massive void for the American head coach, though it does provide the club with a hefty cash injection.
All in all, Leeds supporters will be gutted by this latest update from Hay but now they can begin to move on and look to the future. It’s bittersweet but the right deal for all parties.
AND in other news, Contact made: Report now reveals big Leeds transfer development…