The four moments which prove Raphinha is worth more than £29m amid rumours of Leeds United exit

Leeds United winger Raphinha is worth well beyond the bid reportedly offered by Barcelona.

By Flora Snelson
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 4:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 4:08 pm

It's not uncommon for the hope and promise of a new signing to be shattered within a few games of the player's first appearance, and the arrival of Raphinha for the bargain price of £17m had the potential to disappoint in the same way.

But the Brazilian has more than lived up to the hype, as the gap between the fee Leeds paid for Raphinha and his true worth widened with each passing game.

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With a recent patch of poor performances came fans' doubts that the winger's heart was not really in it, as the increasing likelihood of Raphinha's summer departure loomed as large as the threat of relegation.

Since Raphinha found form again and made a game-changing - possibly season-changing - contribution against Norwich, conversation has turned once again to the question of which European giant will swoop for the winger, with Barcelona reportedly sniffing around.

The Spanish side are said to have tabled a bid of £29m - here are four moments from Raphinha's Leeds United career which show that it's not enough.

Joe Gelhardt assist v Norwich City, March 13 2022

Leeds United winger Raphinha. Pic: Tony Marshall.

It was a massive moment in a massive game and Raphinha rose to the challenge.

Yellows shot-stopper Tim Krul had frustrated the winger in one-on-ones throughout and in the game's dying moments, Raphinha found himself with just the keeper to beat as Leeds desperately sought to restore their lead.

He showed intelligence and maturity when he resisted the glory and squared the ball to substitute Joe Gelhardt for an easy tap-in.

Raphinha pulled off a near-identical assist for Jack Harrison against Sheffield United last season - he's a Brazilian with bags of flare, but he can weight a pass perfectly for a simple cut-back, too.

Raphinha set up Joe Gelhardt's memorable stoppage-time winner against Norwich City. Pic: Michael Regan.

Gary Cahill nutmeg v Crystal Palace, February 8 2021

It's one for the history books. How many Leeds players have done what Raphinha did to Gary Cahill last season?

The Palace defender tried to pin Raphinha into the corner but was left for dead by the Brazilian. Raphinha nutmegged Cahill on the turn and skipped with the ball into the Palace box.

When in the mood, the winger's playfulness is dynamite, and his ability to breeze past opponents with ease creates big opportunities for his team.

Leeds United winger Raphinha evades the Crystal Palace defence to get a shot away. Pic: Tim Keeton.

Penalty v Crystal Palace, December 1 2021

Another big moment which Raphinha did not hide from. The winger's wicked corner delivery earned a late penalty for his side as the ball span off Marc Guéhi's arm.

With no fear, Raphinha puzzled Palace 'keeper Vicente Guaita with a stuttering run and sent Elland Road barmy by netting the spot-kick.

In front of an edgy home crowd in the dying moments of the game, there wasn't a whiff of nerves in his delivery, which sealed Leeds' fourth win of the season and kept relegation anxiety at bay for a short while.

Former Whites boss Bielsa acknowledged that the penalty took "a lot of character, personality and courage".

Brazil debut v Venezuela, October 8 2021

Raphinha beats Vincente Guaita from the spot to give Leeds United a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. Pic: George Wood.

Despite all fans had seen of Raphinha for Leeds United, the winger's international debut somehow still surprised.

When Raphinha was brought on after the break, Brazil were trailing Venezuela 1-0, with their unbeaten run in World Cup qualification in peril.

If Raphinha was intimidated by the occasion, he didn't show it, playing on his own terms while wearing the colours of his nation for the very first time.

Marquinhos headed home a Raphinha corner to equalise for Brazil, then Raphinha pulled off a composed cutback for Antony to score the Seleção's third in injury-time.

In the Venezuela victory, Raphinha showed that he can deliver a confident performance at a crucial moment.

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Brazil winger Raphinha. Pic: Douglas Mano.