Brazilians and FC Barcelona tend to go hand in hand, and to be honest Raphinha hasn’t been the worst signing that Barcelona have ever made.
The wide man has certainly produced some moments of magic for the Blaugranes during his first season at the club, but they have been few and far between.
Notwithstanding a more-than-reasonable return of 10 goals and 11 assists, it’s Raphinha’s inconsistency that makes his inclusion in the side from next season a particularly hard sell.
He’s a decent player all right, but not at the standard required by Barcelona.
For a team that always prides itself on accuracy in their passing, Raphinha’s pass completion rate of 79.7 percent (WhoScored) across the season simply isn’t good enough.
How many times have we seen him lose the ball in tight areas, beat his man and then waste the resulting cross…
He does get the crowd off of their seats when in full flow it’s true, though that’s more often in hope than expectation.
For every great finish or decent cross, there are three to four more that are average.
It’s almost like the old nursery rhyme: When he’s good he’s very, very good, but when he’s bad, he’s horrid.
The very, very good games are sporadic too, which is the overriding issue with the player.
He’s also only played 90 minutes on three occasions this season, and Xavi is a far better judge of a player than most of us will ever be, so surely that speaks volumes too.
If we’re going to have an opinion and judge players by their importance to the team, the Brazilian isn’t necessarily one that gets a guaranteed starting spot, particularly when Ousmane Dembele is fit.
Should Leo Messi return, then it’s even more difficult to find a place for him in the side.
If reports doing the rounds are correct, then Newcastle United are at least one club that would be tempted to have the Brazilian within their ranks next season, as they ready themselves for the Champions League for the first time in a generation.
Should the Magpies – or any other club for that matter – come in with a decent offer, then Barca would be foolish not to take it, whilst accepting that Raphinha is unlikely to want to leave.
It’s a shame, but there are cogent reasons why a sale would be the right decision for the club if not the player