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Arsenal signing this £14.3m-rated Barcelona star would help multiple positions in Arteta’s squad

Sevilla's Spanish forward Suso (left) vies with Celta Vigo's on-loan Brazilian midfielder Rafinha of during a La Liga match last February.
Sevilla's Spanish forward Suso (left) vies with Celta Vigo's on-loan Brazilian midfielder Rafinha of during a La Liga match last February. (Getty Images)

Why Rafinha would be a good fit at Arsenal

According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo (h/t Daily Star), Arsenal are keeping a close eye on Barcelona midfielder Rafinha.

The 27-year-old Rafinha is currently on a season-long loan with La Liga rivals Celta Vigo and has been impressive for them so far. The Barcelona academy graduate, who was deemed surplus to requirements at the club this season saw himself earn a move to Celta Vigo in order to grab more game time.

Since moving to the Balaidos in September last year, Rafinha has become a regular in the squad, featuring 19 times for them in La Liga this season. He has also contributed to the side with two goals and an assist, establishing himself as one of the first few names in the team managed by Oscar Garcia.

Sevilla's Spanish forward Suso (left) vies with Celta Vigo's on-loan Brazilian midfielder Rafinha of during a La Liga match last February.
Sevilla’s Spanish forward Suso (left) vies with Celta Vigo’s on-loan Brazilian midfielder Rafinha of during a La Liga match last February. (Getty Images)

A La Masia academy graduate, Rafinha found it difficult to nail down a spot in the Barcelona first-team line-up, with the side already well-stacked in the middle all these years. With the Catalans now having signed Frenkie de Jong last summer, attacking midfielder Rafinha saw himself fall even low down the pecking order at Camp Nou.

Rafinha’s current club Celta Vigo have an option to secure his services permanently at the end of this season if they can match the £14.3million price-tag set by his parent club Barcelona.

Rafinha can offer Arsenal more options in the midfield

That said, Premier League side Arsenal are keeping a close eye on Rafinha’s situation, with the side clearly in need of a new creative player in the midfield. The poor form of star playmaker Mesut Ozil and the dearth of attacking midfielders in the side has seen the side slump to a lowly 9th in the league this season.

Rafinha reacts while playing for in August last year.
Rafinha reacts while playing for in August last year. (Getty Images)

Moreover, with on-loan star Dani Ceballos set to return to his parent club Real Madrid at the end of the season, the Gunners are in dire need of a new midfielder.

With 107 La Liga matches, 14 goals and 11 assists under his belt, there is no questioning Rafinha’s experience and abilities. If not a regular at Camp Nou, Rafinha has always been a key part of their squad over the years due to his versatility.

An attacking midfielder by trade, Rafinha is comfortable playing a little deeper, and also as a winger – something which he has done on numerous occasions for Barcelona. Hence, Arsenal should up their interests in Rafinha and land him at the Emirates soon. His experience will be a valuable asset for the struggling Arsenal midfield.

Veteran playmaker Mesut Ozil has been in poor form for Arsenal in recent times.
Veteran playmaker Mesut Ozil has been in poor form for Arsenal in recent times. (Getty Images)

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Verdict

At present, Arsenal have just one attacking midfielder in Mesut Ozil. However, he has turned 31 already and has shown signs of ageing, which has been clearly reflecting in his disappointing form in recent times. Hence, Rafinha’s arrival will only make Arsenal stronger and offer boss Arteta plenty of options in the middle.

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