June 25, 2024

Raphinha was the magic man during his two years at Elland Road, and made the Whites a hefty profit when he moved on from Yorkshire

He may have only donned the white shirt for two years, but he certainly made his impact during his time in Yorkshire, with a number of match-winning performances from his position on the wing.

Whether he was embarrassing defenders or scoring scorchers past goalkeepers, the Brazilian delighted the United faithful during his time in LS11, and was sold for a pretty penny to boot.

Not that Leeds fans would have wanted to wave goodbye to the magnificent mercurial talent, who had them gushing in the stands with his outstanding performances while with the club.

Raphinha transforms Leeds United after moving to Elland Road to play under Marcelo Bielsa

After earning promotion in the COVID-19 hit 2019/20 season, Leeds headed into the Premier League searching for attacking flair to help their cause in their return to the top flight.

The arrivals of Helder Costa on a permanent deal, Rodrigo and Crysencio Summerville all added extra firepower to the Yorkshire side’s attacking arsenal, but it was the last recruit of the window that really got tongues wagging.

Not much was known about Raphinha when he made the £17 million move from Rennes in the October of 2020, but it didn’t take long for those at Elland Road to learn what he was all about.

Whether he was leaving defenders in his wake with his glistening pace, or using his lightning quick feet to pick out a teammate in the blink of an eye, the Brazilian proved to be the final piece of the puzzle to really make United tick.

After earning his stripes with early cameo appearances off the bench, the frontman finally got his chance from the first whistle, and in his second start he grabbed his first goal in English football against Everton.

And what a strike it was as well, as he picked up the ball 25-yards from goal, before taking his time to pick out the bottom corner with a drilled effort, leaving Jordan Pickford with no chance.

Those rockets became something of a trademark during his first season in England, with further strikes against West Bromwich Albion, Newcastle United and Fulham to his name.

Much of this admiration of the Brazilian had to be done from home during the days of the global pandemic, so it must have been a joy to finally see the talisman in the flesh on the final day of the 2020/21 season at home to the Baggies.

Finally, Leeds fans got to see their wizard conjure up his tricks up close and personal, and they weren’t left disappointed with a typical flamboyant performance in front of his new fanbase.

The star only seemed to thrive when he played in front of a full house at Elland Road, with the start to the 21/22 campaign seeing him net three times in his first six league matches to begin the campaign on fire.

The first of those was another rasping strike against Everton, with the Toffees sick to the back teeth of the Brazilian popping up with devilish strikes against them, with the equaliser in their 2-2 draw his third in as many games against the Merseysiders

That second season in England saw Raphinha develop into one of the top flight’s most coveted possessions, as he had an influence on Leeds’ matches more often than not.

14 goal contributions over the course of the campaign – not to mention some outstanding performances for Brazil on the international stage – had started to entice clubs from all over the continent into making a move for the forward, and it wasn’t long before the rumours of his departure started to circle.

Despite his contributions across the season Leeds only just managed to stay in the top flight that season, and with Barcelona unrelenting in their quest to land the forward, a deal was eventually settled with the Spanish club.

With the Blaugrana offering £49 million plus add-ons for his services, it would have been remiss of the Whites to turn such funds down, and after two years of delighting the crowds at Elland Road, he was shimmying and stepovering his way into the sunset.

It was short, and it was sweet, but Raphinha’s time at Elland Road will be remembered for a long time around the Beeston area and beyond, for he is one of the most naturally talented, awe-inspiring recruits the club have ever made.

Raphinha shines for Barcelona after La Liga switch

Just like he did when moving to Leeds, Raphinha wasted no time in getting to grips with a new club and new country, with his ten goals helping Barca to the La Liga title in his first season at the club.

As well as taking the domestic title back to Camp Not, the Catalan side also claimed the Supercopa de Espana, making it a silverware-laden start to life for their new Brazilian import.

Despite missing out to rivals Real Madrid in the following campaign, the forward still managed to hit double figures once again alongside the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Ilkay Gundogan and co. with three goals coming in the two legs of their Champions League quarter-final defeat to PSG.

With rumours of a move away from the Spanish side starting to circle, a move back to the Premier League could be on the cards, with Tottenham Hotspur said to be interested, as well as a number of Saudi Arabian sides.

If the frontman can still produce the sort of performances he did during his time at Elland Road, he would be an excellent pickup for many sides this summer, with Leeds fans able to vouch first hand for his transformative performances during his time in a white shir

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