Chelsea should monitor Raphinha this season before making a move
The Blues had scouts in attendance in Sporting’s 3-1 victory over Portimonense, where the 22-year-old Brazilian caught the eye with a match-winning brace.
However, due to the ongoing transfer embargo still very much in effect, Chelsea won’t be able to negotiate a deal for any player before the end of the 2019-20 campaign.
Chelsea aren’t the only club monitoring the tricky winger, though, with the same report suggesting that Premier League rivals Leicester City also had their scouts in attendance to keep a close eye on the talented youngster.
Raphinha, who rose to prominence with Portuguese outfit Vitoria Guimaraes, completed a switch to heavyweights Sporting Lisbon back in 2018 on the back of a 15-goal season in the Liga NOS.
However, he struggled to nail down a regular starting role at his new club in the previous campaign due to stiff competition for places and featured largely as a rotational player, scoring 4 goals in 16 league starts.
Raphinha, though, did come up with a few standout performances last season, bagging two man-of-the-match awards in the process.
Interestingly, the Brazilian has made a much more promising start to the new season, scoring twice in three league outings for Sporting. And his recent run of form apparently hasn’t eluded the eyes of the Premier League clubs, who are showing a fair bit of interest in the 22-year-old.
Meanwhile, Chelsea tasted their first victory under Frank Lampard, as a brace from Tammy Abraham and a second goal of the season for Mason Mount propelled the Blues to a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road in the Premier League last week.
The triumph over the Canaries meant that the Blues finally managed to hit the ground running in the Premier League and the fans will be expecting them to build on that win when they play host to Sheffield United this Saturday.
Lampard hasn’t had the luxury of bringing in fresh faces this summer to impose his style and philosophy at Stamford Bridge but the manager should be happy with the performances of the youngsters, nevertheless.
The likes of Pulisic, Abraham and Mount have promised a lot in the first few games and Chelsea will need them to fire on all cylinders consistently throughout the campaign if they are to ensure a top-four finish.
The transfer ban, indeed, has been a major setback for the club but the fans have every reason to be happy with the way some of the youngsters have performed.
The Blues, though, will eventually need to sign new players next summer in order to supplement Lampard with some fresh blood and Raphinha looks like a real talent following a promising start to his career in Portugal.
However, given the difference in the level of competition and intensity between the Portuguese top-flight and the Premier League, Chelsea should be wise enough to carefully monitor his performances over the entirety of the current campaign before going ahead with their interest.
The Blues can certainly do with some new wide players next summer, with Eden Hazard now gone and both Willian and Pedro on the other side of 30. Hence, it is imperative to say that Chelsea need to bring in some quality talents as a part of their long-term plans moving forward.
Raphinha, who is still very much in the developmental stage of his career, has plenty of time to make significant improvements to his game and Chelsea will be hoping that he can eventually make the step up to the Premier League.
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That is, of course, if they Blues to make an official move for the player next summer. However, for the time being, they should continue to keep close tabs on his development in Portugal.