Jamie Carragher compares Raphinha to Liverpool FC duo amid transfer links
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher gives his verdict on Leeds playmaker Raphinha amid talk of a summer bid from Liverpool FC
Jamie Carragher has compared reported Liverpool FC target Raphinha to Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah amid reports linking the Reds with a summer swoop to sign the Leeds United winger.
The defending Premier League champions are being linked with a bid to sign the Leeds playmaker in the 2021 summer transfer window following Raphinha’s impressive performances for the promoted side this term.
Raphinha created his fourth assist of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign in the Yorkshire club’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Elland Road on Monday night.
The former Sporting Lisbon midfielder produced a starring performance in Marcelo Bielsa’s side to help Leeds secure their second successive Premier League win.
Raphinha has scored four goals and has made four assists in 17 games in the Premier League this season following his £17m move to Leeds from Ligue 1 side Rennes last summer.
Sky Sports pundit Carragher heaped praise on Raphinha for his fine performances for Leeds in his first season in the Premier League, comparing the Brazilian to Mane and Salah.
“We’ve all been there as players and as soon as someone comes in, you think: ‘Aye, aye’,” Carragher told Monday Night Football on Sky Sports.
“Some of his touches and his play when he comes inside, we’ve highlighted his movement as well.
“I was really impressed with him when I watched him at Leicester last weekend as well, not just by Raphinha, but (Patrick) Bamford as well.
“You see that shot there (before Bamford’s goal against Palace), that’s so typical of a wide man, that penetrating run that we talk about with Salah, Mane and Sterling, all the great wide players. They make that run and he does. He has great quality on the ball.
“He assisted Bamford certainly in that Leicester game when he fired that pass in and you look at his numbers there, he looks like a real player, certainly of late.
“I think we mentioned before the game that he’s been involved in seven goals in the last eight games, so he’s always a huge threat and that’s always telling when your team-mates know from one training session.
“I’ll never forget one player – as soon as Xabi Alonso came to Liverpool – it’s like you could tell in the session, the way he passed, the pace of the pass, the noise of it, as a dressing room you sort of step back and say that we’ve got one here and it sounds like that was what the Leeds dressing room did (with Raphinha).”
Raphinha started his professional career at Vitoria de Guimaraes 2015 before the Brazilian completed a move to Sporting Lisbon following a return of 22 goals in 85 games in all competitions for Vitoria over three seasons.
The 24-year-old spent on season at Sporting Lisbon in 2018-19 before Raphinha completed a switch to Rennes in 2019.
The South American winger netted eight times in 36 games in the 2019-20 campaign before Leeds secured the signing of Raphinha last October.