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Friday, December 1, 2023

Ange could finally unlock Richarlison with Spurs swoop for £61m “magician”

Tottenham Hotspur have been exemplary in the Premier League this season but will need to return to winning way soon after falling to successive defeats before the November international break.

Ange Postecoglou‘s revolution was in full swing before a spate of injuries and suspensions allowed Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers to hand the Australian his first two defeats in the English top-flight – having only fallen short against Fulham on penalties in the Carabao Cup previously.


While toppling Manchester City and securing the league title now feels like a far more difficult proposition, Spurs are still just two points off the top and can consolidate their position as a major player in the league with a few impactful winter signings, and Barcelona’s Raphinha has recently been of interest.

Tottenham transfer news – Raphinha

According to Football Transfers, Tottenham are willing to discard their interest in Brentford striker Ivan Toney to focus on a winter swoop for winger Raphinha, with Heung-min Son thriving as the central striker.

Raphinha, aged 26, has not quite set Camp Nou alight since joining from Leeds United for £55m in 2022, and Xavi is now believed to be willing to grant his departure, with a fee of €70m (£61m) touted.


Spurs have been excellent under Postecoglou’s wing but are discernible lacking in depth and will need to make some astute acquisitions in 2024 if they are to position themselves alongside those at the forefront of the English game.

Raphinha’s Barcelona career

Since joining Barcelona, Raphinha has scored 12 goals and supplied 15 assists from 61 appearances, and given that he is not earning regular minutes, it is understandable that his club are willing to grant his sale.

Indeed, the 18-cap Brazil international has been on the periphery since the summer, and though this season he has found regular match action harder to come by – he has actually only been provided with three starts in LaLiga – he has scored twice and provided one assist.

Last season, as per Sofascore, he did earn 25 starts in the Spanish first division, clinching seven goals and assists apiece, creating 17 big chances and completing 80% of his total passes, emphasising his crispness and creative flair.

Raphinha: Key Characteristics



Key passes

No significant weaknesses

Long shots

Through balls


Taking Set-pieces

Defensive contribution

*Sourced via WhoScored

As per FBref, Raphina ranks among the top 18% of attacking midfielders and wingers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for goals, the top 14% for assists and the top 25% for shot-creating actions per 90.

This emphasises his spread of effectiveness from an offensive standpoint, which is something that could immensely improve Tottenham.


While Postecoglou has got the squad firing, there is more work to be done to ensure that, as a collective, it is at its zenith, and Raphinha would be the dynamic acquisition to enact the next phase in the development.

Raphinha’s Premier League stats in numbers

For Leeds, the £210k-per-week whiz was the catalyst for the club’s offensive success, proving to be a real difference-maker in enjoying prominence in the Premier League and then battling for survival in his second year, where his clinical feats proved to be decisive in preserving top-flight status.

Raphinha: PL Stats in Numbers




G/A Rate











*Sourced via Transfermarkt

Once hailed as a “magician” by former Whites teammate Dan James, the 26-year-old was instrumental in Leeds’ booming return to the big time in 2020, soaring to a ninth-placed Premier League finish, just three points off a European spot.

Should Spurs seal a swoop, they would be able to provide Raphinha with a starring role in their system, and it’s not like he hasn’t proved himself on English shores in the past.


He could also help lift Richarlison, bringing the former Everton player back to his best form; it’s fair to say that he has not really been at the races since completing the £60m transfer in 2022, and needs some added spice to shoot back into prominence in the Premier League.

How Raphinha could unlock Richarlison

The Brazilian duo could form quite the connection on the wing at Tottenham, with their contrasting styles possibly complementing the free-scoring success of Son in the focal front role.

When Harry Kane completed a lucrative transfer to Bayern Munich in the summer, it’s understandable that supporters might have felt a bit forlorn after losing their record goalscorer after enduring a torrid campaign that yielded an eighth-placed finish.


But Son, now the club captain, has been exceptional in his new job up top, having posted eight goals and one assist from nine matches as a striker this season.

Richarlison, to his credit, has improved since his dreadful maiden campaign in London, where he scored one Premier League goal all season and was branded “useless” by The RedMen TV’s Chris Pajak.

As per FBref, the 26-year-old ranks among the top 13% of attacking midfielders and wingers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for assists, the top 5% for touches in the attacking box and the top 3% for aerial wins per 90, highlighting his creativity and constant threat in the danger area.


Kulusevski has been excellent this season and is a veritable ball of energy down the right channel, starting all 12 of Tottenham’s Premier League matches this season, scoring three goals.

While he hasn’t assisted, the Swede is averaging two key passes per game – as per Sofascore – but isn’t really aiding Richarlison in his efforts, though that could change with Raphinha introduced on the right.

As highlighted through his aforementioned FBref metrics, Richarlison’s countryman offers versatility in his attacking output to effectively bring out his best qualities.

James Maddison might be a superlative playmaker and instrumental in pulling the strings from the centre of the park, but this clearly isn’t enough for Richarlison right now, who could find that his forays into the final third would be more fruitful with Raphinha’s presence.

The La Blaugrana star created 17 big chances in LaLiga last season and found a home with 1.2 crosses per game, and given Richarlison’s aerial ability and constant darts into the box, a dream partnership could soon hatch down the N17.

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