Transfer deadline day: Premier League round-up
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Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa successfully managed to retain the services of Raphinha throughout the summer transfer window. The 24-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool, but the Reds failed to add to their squad after the early arrival of defender Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.
Raphinha stayed in Leeds and will be looking to build on last season’s strong performances with another impressive campaign this time around.
The Yorkshire club added some quality of their own during the summer, with the likes of Junior Firpo and Kristoffer Klaesson making their way to Elland Road.
Leeds also managed to capture the signature of Jack Harrison on a permanent basis, while long-term target Daniel James went on to join the club from Manchester United in a £26million deadline-day move.
The latter’s arrival will give Bielsa another valuable option in attack as the 66-year-old looks to lead his side to another top-half finish this season.
James is likely to feature on the right wing for Leeds over the coming months, which could be set to force Bielsa into a tactical rethink of Raphinha’s role on the pitch.
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The Argentine boss is considering the possibility of converting the Brazilian maestro into an attacking midfielder, according to club insider Phil Hay.
“We’ll wait to see if there’s any effort to convert someone like Raphinha into a 10,” he told The Phil Hay Podcast.
“From what I can gather, that is on Bielsa’s mind but I think it would take a heck of a lot of coaching. It would be a longer-term process.
“Raphinha doesn’t instantly look like a Bielsa in that two behind Patrick Bamford.”
Rodrigo Moreno has experienced difficulty in making the role his own, while Mateusz Klich has also been forced into the position as of late.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Liverpool will make a move for Rodrigo in January or at the end of the season.
The six-time European champions were reportedly looking to reshuffle their attacking options in the summer, with Divock Origi out of contract next June and Takumi Minamino struggling to make an impact after joining the club last year.
Roberto Firmino has also failed to live up to expectations as of late, with the 29-year-old scoring just nine goals in all competitions last season.
However, former Leipzig centre-back Konate was the only player to join Liverpool during a quiet transfer window for the Reds.
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Jurgen Klopp recently defended the club’s lack of recent signings, with the German boss insisting that a Premier League title charge remains a strong possibility this season.
“In the end, there are so many different reasons to win a football game and so many ways to win a football game,” he said.
“It’s not always about bringing in new players. It’s a little bit disappointing that I always have to mention it but we brought Ibrahima Konate who was not a bargain. He cost money as well.
“All the attacking players that the other clubs are signing, that’s obviously something they thought they need. And they had the resources to do it.
“That’s the situation but we will not take that as any kind of excuse in any game. We will go for it with all we have.”
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