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Pundit makes assessment on Raphinha

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Raphinha would be a welcome addition for Arsenal on the right-wing as Bukayo Saka has been overused, claims ex-Gunners star and pundit Kevin Campbell.

THE LOWDOWN: INTEREST

The 25-year-old proved a pivotal figure in Jesse Marsch’s Leeds XI last season, playing a huge role in helping the Whites maintain their Premier League status, but despite still having two years remaining on his contract in Yorkshire, has now been linked with a move away from Elland Road.

It has been reported in recent weeks that Spanish giants Barcelona hold a strong interest in the winger, but a surprising new suitor emerged in the form of the Gunners.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein then claimed on Tuesday evening that Arsenal have ‘submitted a formal offer’, which was rejected by the Yorkshire giants.

And the former Everton and Arsenal striker has had his say on the Gunners’ pursuit of the Brazilian.

THE LATEST: QUALITY AND WORK RATE

When asked by Football Insider if Saka would move onto the left-wing if Raphinha was signed, Campbell said: “Yes, Saka could play on the left.

“They both could, to be honest. That is the beautiful thing. They can both play on either flank.

“Saka has been overused, let’s be brutally honest. [Nicolas] Pepe should have been coming in and carrying the can but Mikel Arteta couldn’t rely on him. He needs somebody he can rely on.

“If Saka is on the bench and Raphinha is playing you know you are going to get quality and work rate at the top end of the pitch. You also know that he is going to beat his man. That is what you want.

“You can mix and match and interchange. Those pieces can move around. That is key.”

THE VERDICT: WEALTH OF ATTACKING TALENT

The nine-cap international, who was once dubbed a “magician” by his Whites teammate Dan James, was the standout performer in a struggling Leeds side last term, netting 11 goals and registering three assists in the top-flight, as per Transfermarkt, and scored on the club’s final day 2-1 victory over Brentford, a result that meant they avoided relegation.

Providing Arsenal secure a deal for the Brazilian superstar, he could well bring goals and assists to an attacking weaponry that excelled last season. Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe both scored 23 goals between them last term, along with Nketiah’s 10 goals. New capture Fabio Vieira registered 23 goal involvements last term, while top target Gabriel Jesus registered 25 goal contributions.

Raphinha joining the Emirates would mean that Mikel Arteta could have a wealth of attacking talent at his disposal, a huge statement to his close rivals next season.

It is a deal that could add many variations, flexibility and attacking class to Mikel Arteta’s side next season possessing players who could fill in a number of positions as highlighted by Campbell. Imagine how devastating the Gunners could be if they secure all their top targets this summer. Get it done.

AND in other news, Arsenal told to cough up £26m for £22.5m-rated destroyer…



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