Tactical Insights

Newcastle United given ‘second chance’ to sign Barcelona and former Leeds United superstar

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Newcastle United will be given a fresh chance to sign Barcelona star Raphinha, according to reports. Lamine Yamal’s emergence – as well as injuries – has frustrated Raphinha’s opportunities at the Nou Camp. Youngster Yamal has broken through the Catalan ranks this season despite his tender age.

The 16-year-old has played every La Liga game as Barca and is regarded as one of the top talents in European football. Capable of playing on either flank, Yamal has mainly played right wing – limiting Raphinha’s game time.

Newcastle were linked with Raphinha before he joined Barcelona for £55million around 18 months ago. The Brazilian shone for Leeds United, bagging 11 goals in his final season despite their plummet to the Championship. But fitness issues have plagued Raphinha’s time in Catalonia – allowing the likes of Yamal to break through. For context, the winger has only completed an entire 90 minutes five times in La Liga since joining Barcelona.

The right flank has been a problem area for Eddie Howe and, in Raphinha, he would be signing a proven Premier League replacement. Miguel Almiron has struggled to replicate his purple patch from last season while question marks remain about Jacob Murphy’s quality.

A report from Spanish outlet Sport has claimed Raphinha is likely to be sold this summer and Newcastle are interested. Barca continue to face economic uncertainty, with clubs around Europe facing Financial Fair Play obstacles.

The Magpies have also been hamstrung in the transfer market – signing no players last month – but will go again this summer. Raphinha would be a marquee arrival and his previous exploits under attack-minded Marcelo Bielsa make him an ideal Howe target.

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