According to the Shields Gazette, Leeds United star Raphinha very nearly arrived at St James’ Park two years ago.
Considering the 24-year-old has looked one of the Premier League’s most exciting wingers in recent weeks, it may be one we’re living to regret!
They report that we were offered the Brazilian during his time at Sporting Lisbon and our recruitment chiefs were ‘interested’ in a deal worth around £12.5m for the winger – with him a player they’d scouted on ‘several occasions’.
Instead, Rafa Benitez pushed for a January move for Miguel Almiron, with the Paraguayan completing a club record move from the MLS while Raphinha remained in Portugal.
The Gazette claim we then ‘considered’ a loan move with an option to buy in the summer of 2019, however that deal failed to materialise and he completed a £18m move to Rennes instead.
Fast forward a year and his £17m move to Leeds is now looking one of the signings of the season, with him possessing pace, trickery, superb work rate and a wand of a left-foot.
Ironically, he and Miguel Almiron found the net in their 2-1 win at St James’ Park last month, with Raphinha also bagging the assist for their second.
Almiron has been arguably our top performer since the turn of the year and looks a different player when regularly played in his best position (shock horror!), but we will be left regretting our decision not sign both that year – especially when the Brazilian was available for just £12m at the time.
Another one to add to the list during the Mike Ashley era, as Raphinha looks to have it all if his first season at Leeds is anything to go by.