Manchester United want to sign Leeds sensation - The Verdict

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United, Liverpool and other clubs are lining up for Leeds United winger Raphinha’s signature, according to Sportitalia TV journalist Gianluigi Longari.

Despite only making his Premier League debut in October of last year, Leeds United’s Raphinha has already made quite the name for himself. 

Across 21 Premier League appearances, the Brazilian has recorded five goals and five assists, as well as an average of 2.3 shots per game and 2.1 key passes per game, according to WhoScored statistics.

Furthermore, during his debut season, Raphinha has received Whoscored’s Man of the Match award on two occasions for his sublime performances against Newcastle and Wolves. 

However, it now appears that the Brazilian’s performances on the pitch have come at a price for Marcelo Bielsa. 

“Manchester United, Liverpool and other clubs are interested in signing Leeds United winger Raphinha,” Sportitalia TV journalist Gianluigi Longari tweeted to his followers.

Longari has also indicated that Leeds United intend on keeping the Brazilian and that the scrap for his signature will be well contested over the summer. 

But the question is, would Raphinha be a good signing for Manchester United and how would he fit into their side? 

GIVEMESPORT writers Tom Kelly, Sam Brookes, Jonathan Gorrie and Josh Cole have their say… 

Tom Kelly

In regards to Manchester United’s attack, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is spoilt for options already and although Raphinha is undoubtedly very talented, the logistics of this deal wouldn’t work. 

“The Brazilian has recently just joined Leeds United, so it would likely take a considerable sum of money to prize Raphinha away from Elland Road, especially taking into consideration he would be moving to a historic rival. 

“And if Manchester United are serious about their pursuit for Raphinha, then it may be worth reviewing either Anthony Martial or Daniel James’ future at the club first. Right now, it’s hard to see how exactly he fits into their strongest matchday squad.”

Sam Brookes 

“Raphinha started the season a little slowly as he adjusted to life in the Premier League. He now appears to be fully settled, though.

Six direct goal contributions in his last eight games shows that he is becoming more of a threat in the final third. With each passing week he seems to be having a greater impact on games for Leeds.

“Meanwhile, at Old Trafford, a number of stars have been unable to make the right-wing position their own this season. The likes of Mason Greenwood, Daniel James and Marcus Rashford have all been tried in this role with mixed results.

“Raphinha has found consistency with his performances in 2021, and could solve United’s issues on the right flank if he gets a move to the Red Devils.” 

Jonathan Gorrie

“The idea of signing a Leeds United player must excite Manchester United fans but, on this one, they might be better off looking elsewhere.

“While clearly talented, United have plenty of options going forward and the scale of finance it would take to prise a man who only recently signed a long-term deal at an ambitious Premier League side would surely be better spent elsewhere.

“Victor Lindelof is still yet to truly convince as Harry Maguire’s partner, and the United captain himself suffered a disastrous start to the season, so strengthening in central defence must be the priority if the Red Devils are going to take that next step again.”

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Christy Malyan

“A reliable source of goals up top is probably the thing Manchester United lack most right now, with midfielder Bruno Fernandes being their only player to reach double figures in the Premier League.

“However, another key problem is how reliant they are on Fernandes for creativity. He leads the squad for assists as well, and while Luke Shaw’s shown his flair with 2.2 key passes per match this term, United’s best offensive player after Fernandes in this respect is Rashford with an average of 1.1 key passes each game. 

“Raphinha’s return stands at 2.1, so while there’s some debate over how exactly he’d fit into the United starting XI, he’s someone that eases the burden on Fernandes as a secondary creative outlet for the Red Devils. 

“That alone makes him a worthwhile signing in theory, although obviously whether a deal can be financially justified remains to be seen”.

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