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Samba time at Camp Nou if Barcelona secure Raphinha

Fingers crossed

Brentford v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by David Horton - CameraSport via Getty Images

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m officially excited.

A feeling I’ve not had where Barca is concerned for some while. And you know what… it feels good.

It’s about time we all started getting butterflies in the stomach again at the thought of how well the team will fare.

Optimism at the start of the season has been a rare commodity indeed for culers of late, but even typing this column I’m getting goosebumps.

I mean, Raphinha, man. Come on. What a player.

A player that has that wonderful ability to draw a collective sharp intake of breath and get bums off seats.

Brentford v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

A player that, when he gets the ball, the crowd expects something to happen.

The kind of talent that is beguiling, eminently watchable and so wonderfully exciting.

Although a deal hasn’t yet concluded for the Brazilian and there’s a long way to go before an announcement can be made, I’m all in on this one.

Putting aside the fact that, Douglas notwithstanding, there have been a long line of Brazilians that have consistently made an impression at Barca, Raphinha is precisely the type of player the club needs at this point.

If there was one thing that has disappointed me most about the team over the last 12-18 months, it would be their lack of real danger in an attacking sense.

It was seen in fits and starts, but not consistently, and let’s not forget that it wasn’t that long ago when teams were going into games with a feeling of real dread and expecting to be beaten by Barca.

Now most tend to think there’s a chance of getting at least a point.

Poland v Belgium: UEFA Nations League - League A Group 4 Photo by Mateusz Slodkowski/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

By adding Raphinha to what would be an already exciting attacking line up, Xavi would have some excellent options up front.

That doesn’t yet include Robert Lewandowski either, but the reported €40m bid should be as high as the club should go in my opinion.

Will the Polish international improve the front line too? Undoubtedly.

Is he worth the €50m that Bayern expect? I’m not sure he’s worth the extra spend when it could be put to better use elsewhere.

In any event, the fact we are being consistently linked to one of the best strikers of his generation, albeit coming to the end of his career, is a marked improvement on where we were a year or two ago.

Did I mention I was excited…

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