Arsenal legend Ray Parlous believes his former team could go after Barcelona’s Raphinha this month after missing out on Mykhaylo Mudryk.
The Gunners were heavily linked with Mudryk, who enjoyed a brilliant first half of the 2022-23 season with Shakhtar Donetsk, over the last two months. They even submitted a bid worth €95 million including add-ons for the forward. However, he joined Chelsea on a deal worth up to €100 million a few days ago.
Just as reports linking Mudryk to the Blues heated up, Arsenal were linked with a move for Raphinha by various organizations, including Sky Sports. Parlour, who played for the Gunners between 1992 and 2004, believes the Brazilian’s Premier League experience could be valuable to his former team.
He told online gambling website Lord Ping:
“I think they have their sights set on Raphinha now. He has struggled in Barcelona but everyone knows what he did for Leeds [United] in the Premier League so that might be an option.”
“January is not the ideal place to buy quality players because a lot of them are under contract and it’s very hard to buy the players in January, but they can get someone on loan or they can get a permanent deal.”
Parlour also praised Eddie Nketiah, who has filled in admirably for the injured Gabriel Jesus, with reference to whether the Gunners need to sign a forward in January:
“To be honest I think Eddie Nketiah did really well yesterday (vs Tottenham Hotspur). He’s got an opportunity now. People can argue that Arsenal still needs a forward to just give them the insurance I don’t know long Jesus is going to be out for which obviously is a big loss when he got injured at the World Cup.”
Arsenal missed out on Raphinha last summer
The ongoing transfer window is not the first time reports linking Arsenal with a move for Raphinha have made headlines. The Gunners were notably interested in the then-Leeds United forward in the 2022 summer transfer window.
Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur were also among those interested. However, the Brazilian eventually chose to join Barcelona in a deal for around £49 million in what he described as achieving a dream (as quoted by 90min).
So far, Raphinha has struggled to have the kind of impact he would have wanted to at the Spotify Camp Nou. The rumored Arsenal target has scored three goals and laid out five assists in 23 matches across all competitions for the Blaugrana.
Last season, he recorded 11 goals and three assists in 35 Premier League matches to help Leeds stave off relegation.