£22.5m attacker confesses Reds star is a “great friend” amid Liverpool interest

Leeds United attacker Raphinha has revealed his relationship with Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino amid reports linking him with a move to Anfield.

Goal reported in February: “Liverpool are monitoring Raphinha’s progress, though reports of concrete interest or any bids being prepared are wide of the mark.”

There’s no telling what developments have been made since Goal’s report was published in February and with the Reds in the Champions League and competing for silverware, there’s no doubt that Raphinha would be attracted to joining Jurgen Klopp.

A player of his talents is wasted at a club like Leeds United even if Marcelo Bielsa is doing wonderful things at Elland Road.

Raphinha - Leeds United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
LEEDS, ENGLAND – MAY 23: Raphinha of Leeds in action during the Premier League match between Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion at Elland Road on May 23, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

In his debut season in the Premier League, Raphinha played 30 times and got 8 goals and 11 assists which is a simply sensational return. That’s essentially the same as the 11 goals and the 8 assists Sadio Mane managed and is better than the 9 goals and 7 assists that Roberto Firmino got.

Speaking of Bobby, this is what Raphinha had to say about him: “In Liverpool, there is Alisson who is from the South too, so everything stays the same. There is still Fabinho, who is from the same place as Firmino and I.

“In fact, did you know that Firmino was the first guy who texted me when I came here? He’s a great friend.”

While shared nationalities don’t always point to potential transfers otherwise every club would be like Wolves, Firmino’s relationship with Raphinha could make attracting the Leeds star that much easier.

Firmino and Mane found form towards the end of the Premier League season, helping their side to a top-three finish after it looked virtually impossible for them to even finish in fourth place.

Their improved form is encouraging ahead of next season. Especially when it’s unclear what the club’s finances look like following the pandemic and the expected damaging effects it will have had over the last year.

Signing a player like Raphinha, who Transfermarkt value at just £22.5million, would be an incredible way to reinforce Liverpool’s attacking lineup.

The Brazilian is a right-winger and while he isn’t very versatile, signing another top-class left-footed player in that position could free Mohamed Salah up to play more centrally which would allow him to get closer to the goal.

In his debut season at Anfield, the Egyptian had his game time split between playing on the right-hand side and as a striker. The result? 44 goals and 16 assists.

Liverpool v Everton - Premier League
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 10: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Mohamed Salah of Liverpool Scores tghe opener during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on December 10, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

While Mohamed Salah was brilliant for Liverpool during the 2020/21 season, scoring 31 goals and assisting 6, the Reds could use more unpredictability and signing a player that allows Salah to move further inside would be great.

Leeds United won’t want to lose Raphinha.

Only Patrick Bamford was involved in more goals for Bielsa’s side but if the player wants a move, money could do the talking.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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