Dubbed as “stardust” and as a “match-winner” by The Athletic’s Phil Hay, Raphinha has been simply sensational for Leeds United in his debut campaign in English football – a record of six goals and five assists in the Premier League alone is a testament to that.
With suggestions that the winger was bought for around £17m, there’s no questioning that Marcelo Bielsa’s side appear to have gotten the better end of the deal.
Hay opened up on his move from French side Rennes in the summer, delivering an insight into why the Brittany-based club appeared content to accept such a minimal transfer fee.
He said: “My understanding of what went on at Rennes was that he was as happy to leave as they were to sell him, and it felt like, in the end, all sides got pretty much what they wanted.
“I was asking a couple of journalists over there, ‘why have they done this deal at this price?’ They said because, basically, if they get their money back on him, they would be happy with that, because they don’t think he’s been that outstanding.”
According to CIES, Raphinha is now valued at £34m, double the price for which Leeds signed him last summer.
If ever there was an indication of just how much of a masterclass Victor Orta has pulled off, then look no further than that.
When you factor in suggestions that the likes of Manchester United are eyeing up a potential big-money move for the Brazilian in this upcoming summer transfer window, then Leeds are absolutely in the driving seat.
They could hold firm for a massive fee, certainly one which would break records at Elland Road given that their most expensive sale is still Rio Ferdinand’s move to Old Trafford all those years ago.
It will surely have Andrea Radrizzani delighted knowing that either Leeds keep hold of a player who has proven to be an absolute revelation in his first season at Elland Road, or they could cash in and earn an eye-watering sum of money.