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Barcelona winger backed to succeed by ex-defender: “Huge player with a great personality”

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Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Former Barcelona defender Junior Firpo has backed Raphinha to come good at the club, hailing the Brazilian as a ‘huge player’ and a great professional.

Raphinha joined Barça in the summer of 2022, arriving in a deal worth €58 million initial fee. Expectations were high on the 26-year-old upon arriving after his exploits at Leeds United. However, he had a slow start to life in Catalonia, leading to immediate question marks over his future.

Indeed, Raphinha was being linked with an exit in January, with Arsenal reportedly showing a concrete interest. Reports suggest that the Gunners even offered €70 million for the winger, but Barcelona rejected it.

The decision seems to have worked out very well for the Catalans as Raphinha is slowly but surely starting to come good. He has made some important contributions over the past month, especially in the injury-enforced absence of Ousmane Dembele.

And Firpo, who shared the dressing room with Raphinha at Leeds United last season, has claimed that the Brazilian is a huge player and is still going through a period of adaptation at Barça.

“Raphinha is a huge player, with a great personality and very strong,” he said in an interview with AS (h/t Mundo Deportivo).

“At Leeds, he stood out because he is brutal with space and he is still in the process of adapting, but he is very good and despite being the one who ran the most and the one who got hit the most, I have never seen him injured. He’s a great professional.”

Barcelona manager Xavi has also echoed similar sentiments when it comes to Raphinha, claiming that he has always had faith in the 26-year-old. And he, as well as the fans, will be hoping that the Brazilian will come good at Old Trafford against Man United tonight.

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