Analysis: Is it right for Barcelona to sell Raphinha this summer?

Because their well documented financial problems do not look like subsiding any time soon, Barcelona will be forced into making one or two significant sales this summer, especially as club bosses will want to raise as much money as possible for the next manager coming in.

Several players have been linked with departing during the upcoming transfer window, including the likes of Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen. One of the leading candidates to leave is Raphinha, as he is unlikely to be a regular starter going forward because of the emergence of Lamine Yamal.

Raphinha was signed from Leeds United in the summer of 2022 with plenty of expectation, although he has struggled to command a regular place ever since arriving. Ousmane Dembele was first-choice on the right wing last season, and now it looks to be that Lamine Yamal is the one now, despite the fact that he is only 16.

That final point is a crucial one for Barcelona, as Lamine Yamal simply cannot play every minute going forward. He needs to be managed effectively if he is to avoid injuries and continue reaching his potential, but if Raphinha leaves, the likelihood is that he will start more than he should.

That point was proven when Raphinha was out injured between January and February. Lamine Yamal started eight matches on the spin during that period, which was incredibly dangerous. If the Brazilian leaves in the summer – which looks likely – then this has a chance of repeating itself again going forward, especially as Barcelona do not have another natural right winger (Ferran Torres can play there, but he’s tended to play on the left or through the middle).

At this stage, it may not be wise for Barcelona to sell Raphinha, although it will entirely depend on the fee that they can command. Saudi Arabia would likely attract the biggest number, but it’s difficult to see Raphinha accepting a move to the Middle East – a Premier League return is much more possible.

If Raphinha is sold, it’s imperative that Barcelona have a new right winger in the pipeline, someone that can compete with Lamine Yamal in the way that Raphinha has this season. They simply cannot afford to go into next season with only the teenager in that position, otherwise they risk repeating the mistakes of the past – see Ansu Fati.

It could make more sense for one or two centre-backs to be sold instead of Raphinha, as Barcelona have a surplus in that position. However, it seems likely that Raphinha will be one of those sold, which could be a mistake.

The post Analysis: Is it right for Barcelona to sell Raphinha this summer? appeared first on Football España.

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