This summer in Europe, some of the biggest attacking stars have moved to clubs elsewhere in the continent. Erling Haaland, Raheem Sterling and Robert Lewandowski, to name but a few, with more potentially going through the exit door at their respective club. However, three in particular have caught the eye. Gabriel Jesus has been reunited with Mikel Arteta, Raphinha has realised his childhood dream of playing for Barcelona, and Richarlison has made the big money transfer to Tottenham Hotspur. In fact, they are all Brazilians who could be entering their prime, but out of the three, who will shine at their new club the most?
Richarlison was the main reason Everton remained a Premier League side with a flurry of goals near the end of the season which guaranteed survival. A move away from Goodison Park was expected on the blue half of Merseyside, but he is a Champions League-level player and the Toffees got a £60m transfer fee from his sale.
Last season, the 25-year-old impressed on the defensive side of his game, mainly due to the fact Everton had one of the leakiest defences in the division. He stood out for blocks, interceptions and tackles, according to FBref, with the former Everton man completing 21.1 pressures per 90. In an underwhelming Everton side, Richarlison scored just under 25% of their Premier League goals with ten, as well as five assists in 30 Premier League appearances – a goal contribution every two games.
Overall, Richarlison should be a very good addition at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. His style of play suits how Antonio Conte wants to play, aggressive, forward-thinking football and he will provide great competition for places in the forward line. Question marks have been raised regarding the price tag Tottenham paid for the former Watford man, but that could not be talked about if he has a successful first season.
After a spectacular campaign with Leeds United, Raphinha was in high demand this summer and the deal took quite a few turns before his confirmed move to Barcelona. He looked set to agree on a deal with Arsenal to provide competition for Bukayo Saka, however, London rivals, Chelsea, stepped in and the Brazilian appeared to be heading to Stamford Bridge. While this saga was going on, Barcelona were negotiating for Raphinha and he eventually joined the Catalonian side for a fee potentially rising to £55m.
According to FBref, the 25-year-old was superb at shot-creating actions per 90 last campaign with 3.7 which are very impressive numbers bearing in mind he was in a disappointing Leeds side. Furthermore, his progressive passes were at 5.2 per 90 last season while he impressed on the defensive side of the game with 1.8 blocks per 90 – something that Barcelona will not require him to help out on. During his time in the Premier League, Raphinha was directly involved in 29 goals in 65 Premier League appearances and that would only improve in a better side.
Raphinha will be a key part of Xavi’s evolution at Camp Nou alongside new additions like Lewandowski and Andreas Christensen. He would have been an excellent fit at Arsenal but his dream was to play for Barcelona; now he will be able to fulfil that. His attacking output will additionally improve in Spain with the quality of players around him but unlike at Leeds, he may have to fight for his place due to all of the attacking players at the club.
Finally, Gabriel Jesus’ move to Arsenal seems like the perfect fit. Tottenham looked like they may have had an interest in bringing in the four-time Premier League champion to the club, but he was always destined for the Emirates Stadium. Following a great five years under Pep Guardiola, Jesus was looking for the guarantee of first team football, something that he looks set to get at Arsenal. Jesus is the cheapest one of these players, with Arteta spending £45m on the former Manchester City attacker.
Arsenal’s system needs their striker to be able to drop deep to collect the ball and to be good with the ball back to goal. Last season, the Brazilian international had a fantastic campaign in which he scored and assisted eight in the Premier League. He also had 7.7 touches in the opposition penalty area, according to FBref, as well as scoring 0.44 non-penalty goals per 90.
In summary, Arsenal have done very well to get Jesus for a good price from a Premier League rival. He will likely start over Eddie Nketiah and he can also play in the right-wing position. At the time of writing, in Arsenal’s four pre-season games played, Jesus has scored four goals – showing what he can bring to Arteta’s side.
In my opinion, Gabriel Jesus’ move to Arsenal is the best fit out of all of these Brazilian attackers. Yes, Richarlison should succeed at Tottenham and Raphinha is now part of Barcelona’s bright future, but for the cheapest fee, Jesus also feels like the most risk-free transfer out of the three. But out of these three names, which of these Brazilians do you think will shine at their new club the most?