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Raphinha at Barcelona: How’s it going? Is he a guaranteed starter yet? How will Leeds United view the deal now?

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Leeds United parted ways with Raphinha in the summer as they accepted Barcelona’s offer, seeing the player leave after two years at the club.

Arguably Leeds’ best piece of business since promotion to the Premier League was to bring in Raphinha for £17million from Rennes.

The Brazilian was an instant hit in the side and it was clear from the outset that he was going to outgrow Elland Road as his progression earned him a call-up to the Brazil side.

Having become a regular for his country, to then help Leeds stay in the top flight, it was a matter of time before his exit materialised, and that came through a £55million dream move to Barcelona.

Here, we look at how Raphinha is getting on at Barcelona since leaving Leeds…

How’s he playing?

A step up like that was always going to present significant challenges for the winger, going from the best player in a side to someone to add to their quality in attack.

The difference between Leeds and Barcelona hasn’t overwhelmed the winger, though, and he is demonstrating the same qualities that we saw every week.

What has made him an instant hit with his new fanbase is his work ethic, something hard to come by from a lot of luxury signings.

He has one goal and one assist to his name so far in La Liga, while making his debut in the Champions League against Bayern Munich and looking a real threat on the right-wing, before a tactical switch to see him swap sides nullified his effectiveness.

Is he a guaranteed starter?

With Barcelona in something of a rebuild under Xavi, they need to bring about more squad depth than they have had in recent years, and their retention of Ousmane Dembele to go with Raphinha’s arrival is proof of that.

Having both means that Raphinha might have to settle for starting some games on the bench, with Ansu Fati also in need of regular minutes too.

Out of his six league appearances so far, he has started four.

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How will Leeds view this deal?

A perfectionist would argue that Leeds could have got more for Raphinha, given that an offer rising to £65million was on the table from Chelsea prior to the agreement with Barcelona.

However, this guaranteed money from the Spanish side gave him his best possible move while still allowing us to more than treble our investment.

Since then, we’ve spent well to replace his creative quality in the final third with Luis Sinisterra and Brenden Aaronson the names to look at.

Victor Orta has had this to say on the club’s choice to let him go (via The Telegraph):

“The players have adapted quickly. We sold two players – Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha – and brought in five others and three young players with a lot of future. We’ve traded two for eight. Frankly, we’ve gained depth on the bench, we have more alternatives.”

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Llorente made an appearance for Real Madrid.

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Leeds United season ticket holder since 2013/14, currently situated in the middle of the FA5 noise. From Pablo Hernandez to 5-1 drubbings, I've seen it all at Elland Road.