Barcelona baffled by Raphinha with ex-Leeds ace dividing opinion

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Those in power at Barcelona are growing increasingly frustrated with Raphinha after his muted start to life at the Nou Camp since joining the club from Leeds United over the summer, according to reports. The Catalan giants worked tirelessly to land Raphinha for several months before his move was eventually confirmed back in July but are yet to reap the rewards of his long-awaited arrival at the Nou Camp.

Raphinha has scored just one goal in 15 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona this season, with his performances so far having failed to justify the £52million transfer fee that was paid to Leeds in exchange for his signature. The 25-year-old’s new club have been left ‘completely baffled’ by his lack of impact in recent months and are painfully aware that they are struggling to extract his very best form, according to AS.

It is said that Raphinha’s training sessions are seen as ‘unbeatable’ by the coaching staff at Barcelona, who are frustrated that he offers ‘absolutely nothing’ in matches despite showing his talent on a daily basis behind closed doors. Some figures at Barcelona have started to question Raphinha’s attitude as a result of his sub-par performances, which they believe are holding him back from reaching his full potential at the club.

Barcelona are reportedly considering the idea of changing Raphinha’s position from the right-wing berth he currently occupies in order to spark a return to form and help to rebuild his confidence, which has taken a knock in recent weeks. They are still confident that he will eventually come good, though, as long as he continues to work hard and never stops trying to get back to the level he showed at Leeds over the course of last season.

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It remains to be seen whether Raphinha will be able to find his feet and prove his worth at Barcelona, who currently trail Real Madrid by a single point at the top of the La Liga table. He made a promising start to life in Spain by impressing in a number of pre-season friendlies but has toned things down in the months since and missed an open goal against Valencia last weekend to further highlight his ongoing struggles at his new club.

Raphinha was targeted by a number of other teams prior to joining Barcelona earlier this year, with the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea failing to snap him up ahead of the Spanish heavyweights in spite of their best efforts. Arsenal director Edu recently revealed that his plan to land Raphinha was thwarted by his unshakeable desire to join Barcelona at all costs, although the player’s meagre return over the last few months suggests that the Gunners dodged a bullet by stepping back from the table.

“It’s fair we did have some conversations with Deco because Deco is his agent and I have a good relationship [with him], we are friends,” Edu told Sky Sports over the summer.

“I just said to Deco: ‘Can you explain to me the situation with Raphinha?’ and he was clear: ‘Edu, we have a good relationship but I’m not going to lie to you, his idea is to go to Barcelona because he’s dreaming to go to Barcelona, and we’ve been talking to Barcelona since a long time ago’.

“Okay, thank you very much, if something happens then just let me know because I can explore and understand the situation. If not, no problem and we carry on with our relationship.”

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