Liverpool told to sign ‘great’ Leeds star Raphinha but he may face Jurgen Klopp issue
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Glen Johnson has urged Liverpool to sign “technically great” winger Raphinha as the January transfer window approaches. But the former Reds right-back has warned that the Leeds United star would have to be content with a squad role for the Premier League giants given the attacking talents Jurgen Klopp has at his disposal.
Raphinha has scored three goals already for Marcelo Bielsa’s side this season, having been linked with interest from Liverpool since his impressive debut campaign in the Premier League term.
The Brazilian winger joined Leeds from Rennes for £17million last summer and was key to their excellent form in the 2020-21 season.
He scored seven goals in 35 appearances as the Lilywhites finished ninth in their first top-flight campaign since 2004, and was at the heart of most of their impressive performances as Bielsa’s side played an eye-catching style of football.
Johnson believes the 24-year-old’s style would transfer well to Liverpool, and said he should be “high on their list of targets” if the price is right.
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“I like him. I’m a big fan, Johnson told Bettingsodds.com.
“The style of football that Leeds play suits him, he has the shackles off and he’s technically great.”
Johnson said Raphinha would face an issue breaking into Jurgen Klopp’s team with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane starring for the Reds.
But he said the winger would give Liverpool a quality option in the squad.
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“If he did sign for Liverpool then I wouldn’t expect him to demand a place in their starting 11, but he would certainly be one of those players on the fringe and would definitely strengthen the squad,” said the former England defender.
“He’s the sort of player that would suit Liverpool’s style of play too, so if the money was right then I’m sure he would be high on their list of targets.”
Raphinha previously spoke of his desire to succeed with Leeds, amid rumours linking him with Liverpool after just one season at Elland Road.
“I’m so happy here. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms: Marcelo, the owner, the players, the staff, the fans,” he wrote in a piece for The Players’ Tribune at the beginning of this season.
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“All I could think about last season was to play in front of a packed Elland Road.
“It was very difficult for me to arrive to empty stadiums, because the fans were such a huge part of what made me want the Prem.
“But to all you Leeds fans, I want to say that even then I felt your love and affection. Honestly, I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the way you welcomed me to the club.
“I already can’t wait to play in front of you guys again. You’ll cheer us on. We’ll put on a show. And I’ll do my best to make you smile.”
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