In the summer of 2022, then Leeds United winger Raphinha was pursued by a number of top clubs, including FC Barcelona, Arsenal, and Chelsea.
The 26-year-old ended up opting for Barcelona, with Arsenal’s pursuit of the player not helped by the fact they wouldn’t match the price Chelsea or Barcelona were willing to pay.
But Raphinha has made it pretty clear he would have been happy to join Arsenal if Barcelona weren’t an option.
Speaking in a recent interview on social media, Raphinha was asked what club outside of La Liga he enjoys watching.
“I love Arsenal,” the Brazilian international responded, before adding that he also likes Paris Saint-German, where his friend Neymar plays.
It’s interesting that Raphinha named Arsenal over his former clubs like Leeds United, but perhaps not particularly surprising given Leeds’ struggles this season.
Though he showed frustration at being substituted in Barcelona’s match against Manchester United last week, you’d imagine the winger is pretty happy overall at the moment.
Barcelona are the runaway leader leaders in La Liga, they’ve won the Supercopa, they’re in the Copa Del Rey semi-finals, and they’re level with Manchester United going into their Europa League second-leg match.
On an individual level, Raphinha has made 32 appearances (19 starts), scoring seven goals and assisting nine. He scored one and assisted another against United on Thursday.
If Raphinha were to change his feelings about Barcelona before the summer, you’d imagine Arsenal would be interested in picking him up. That seems unlikely right now.