Following the departure of Ousmane Dembele in the summer, Raphinha was expected to be the main man in attack for Barcelona, with little to no competition on the right wing.
Ansu Fati and Ez Abde also left the club during the last days of the transfer window, which opened up more options for the Brazilian, even though the club signed Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid on deadline day.
However, his start to the season was far from ideal as he picked up a first half red card against Getafe on the opening day.
Xavi opted to use Lamine Yamal on the right wing in the games after that, even after Raphinha’s return.
At this point, the 26-year-old has just one start in La Liga this season, but according to SPORT, he is expected to return to the starting lineup against Mallorca.
Ferran, Felix, Yamal flying
Raphinha will have to fight and claw his way into the starting lineup for Barcelona this season, with every single forward in form and gunning for a spot.
Ferran Torres has been one of the most inform players for the club this season, with three goals in five league appearances.
Joao Felix has also settled in brilliantly, having scored three goals and giving two assists in his first four games across La Liga and UEFA Champions League.
Not to forget 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, who has been playing well beyond his years, but making an incredible impact as a winger.
While it is true that Raphinha has played far fewer minutes than he would have liked, his impact on the pitch has still been tremendous.
He came on against Real Betis in the final 30 odd minutes and scored a goal with one of his first touches of the ball.
This was followed up by another solid performance against Royal Antwerp in the Champions League, where he forced the own goal with a cross, and then assisted Joao Felix for the fifth goal.
Raphinha was not on the scoresheet against Celta Vigo this weekend after coming on, but playing centrally, he was able to unlock the opposition defence with pin point crosses, and set up Joao Cancelo brilliantly, who assisted Robert Lewandowksi for the equaliser.
There is little to no doubt that he will be very important for Barça as the season goes on, and he could cement his position as one of the starters with an impact against Mallorca this Tuesday.