Leeds United sporting director Victor Orta was a busy man throughout the summer transfer window as he sanctioned deals to bring players to Elland Road and to send others away.
The Whites chief bolstered Jesse Marsch’s squad by signing the likes of Tyler Adams, Wilfried Gnonto, Marc Roca, Brenden Aaronson, and Darko Gyabi, among others, but also allowed a few key players from the 2021/22 campaign to depart.
Dan James was allowed to join newly-promoted side Fulham on loan until the end of the season and the club raked in money through the sales of Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively.
Orta managed to get £55m out of Barcelona for Raphinha over the summer and Transfermarkt have it down as being the most expensive departure in the history of the club, which means that the Brazilian may be the most valuable player Leeds have ever had at their disposal.
The Whites paid an initial £17m to sign him from Ligue 1 side Rennes in the summer of 2020 under Marcelo Bielsa and that move has turned out to be a sensational piece of business.
He had scored five goals and assisted three in 22 league matches for the French club in the 2019/20 campaign and these statistics show that his arrival was far from a guaranteed success.
The winger had yet to really ignite his career and Marcelo Bielsa helped him to do that in the Premier League. He produced an eye-catching six goals and nine assists in his first season in the English top-flight, averaging a SofaScore rating of 7.14 – the second-highest score of any outfield player in the squad.
Raphinha then stepped his goalscoring up in 2021/22 as he plundered 11 goals in 35 league outings, whilst also creating ten ‘big chances’ for his teammates and providing 1.9 key passes per game.
Journalist Seb Stafford-Bloor previously hailed the gem as “magic” and claimed that he”raises the temperature” by using his left foot in possession, with fans jumping off their seat in expectation given what he achieved over his two years at Elland Road.
His exceptional form earned him a £55m move to Barcelona and that transfer meant that Orta earned a profit of roughly 224% from the initial £17m that was paid to bring him to Yorkshire two years ago.
Therefore, the sporting director played a blinder with Raphinha as he picked him up as a gamble, of sorts given his Ligue 1 statistics, and the winger helped to keep the club in the Premier League for two years before raking in an enormous payday for the Whites.