Few Leeds United fans would have expected the signing of Raphinha to be quite as good as it has turned out to be.
While excitement was in the air when his £17m (BBC) transfer was announced, few at Elland Road could ever say they’d studied Raphinha in much detail. Sure, signing a Brazilian winger with a nice highlight reel is always nice, but teams have been here before and seen these players fail to produce the goods.
But it’s already abundantly clear that Raphinha is a fine signing by Leeds. Five Premier League goals and five assists are decent enough returns. But it’s his overall game which is so impressive.
His intelligent runs, his ability to draw two and three defenders at a time, and then the quality he possesses to stick the ball either in the net or on a plate for teammates, have all helped Leeds this term.
So at just £17m, it appears the Elland Road outfit have made mockery of the some of the extortionate fees demanded in Ligue 1 in recent years.
Raphinha a bargain for Leeds
Just this summer, one of the big names to leave Ligue 1 was Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian was courted by English clubs before completing a stagging £63m move to Napoli. Since then, Osimhen has hit a paltry two goals.
The season before, Arsenal signed Nicolas Pepe for over £70m, while Spurs landed Tanguy Ndombele for over £50m. And while those two are finally beginning to look like decent players, those fees are extortionate.
Even further back, Thomas Lemar joined Atletico for over £60m, Goncalo Guedes went to Valencia for over £30m, and Malcolm signed for Barcelona for over £35m. (Fees via Transfermarkt)
All of those players have hardly lit the world up, making Leeds’ £17m capture of Raphinha all the more astounding.
In terms of getting one right and bucking the trend, Leeds United have certainly done that with the capture of Raphinha.