Raphinha reflects on disappointing start to Barcelona career

Raphinha has struggled to justify his price tag at Barcelona
Raphinha has struggled to justify his price tag at Barcelona / Aitor Alcalde Colomer/GettyImages

Barcelona winger Raphinha has admitted that he hasn’t played as well for the club as he was doing for former side Leeds, insisting he is still adapting to life at Camp Nou.

Raphinha either scored or assisted 14 Premier League goals in a struggling Leeds team last season, with that form enough to spark a three-way transfer battle among Barcelona, Chelsea and Arsenal.

It was Barça who won the race, securing a deal worth up to €67m with future add-ons. But the Brazil international has struggled to establish himself, starting fewer than half of the club’s La Liga games and failing to register a Champion League goal involvement until after they were knocked out.

“I see myself still in a period of adaptation, which has been a bit complicated due to my statistics and the way I play,” Raphinha is quoted as saying by Marca.

“I still don't see myself as the Raphinha that got me here. Obviously, I've played some great games, but I haven't I have reached my best level. The adaptation period for any player who arrives new to a club is always difficult, although I am working hard to make this moment pass as quickly as possible.”

Although he did score off the bench in Barcelona’s final game before club football was put on hold, it was Raphinha’s first for the club since early September. He is at least heading to the World Cup in Qatar in slightly better international form, becoming a regular starter for Brazil since his relatively late senior debut just 13 months ago and five goal involvements in his last five appearances.

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