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West Ham signing this forgotten 26-year-old from La Liga giants would be a solid statement of intent

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Why West Ham should make a move for Rafinha in January

Back in June 2018, the Sport had claimed that West Ham were interested in signing Barcelona midfielder Rafinha Alcantara. However, a move didn’t materialise and the Brazilian stayed put at Nou Camp.

Rafinha, 26, is somewhat a forgotten man at Barcelona. He has fallen out of favour with Ernesto Valverde and must leave the club this summer to reignite his stuttering career. That being said, West Ham shouldn’t hesitate to rekindle their interest in Rafinha and attempt to sign him when the transfer window reopens in January.

The Hammers haven’t had an ideal start to the new Premier League campaign, picking up a single point in the first two games. The defeat against Manchester City and the draw with Brighton documented West Ham’s defensive frailties which Manuel Pellegrini must quickly solve if his team are to achieve a spot in Europe.

The midfield has also looked uninspiring, with Jack Wilshere failing to produce the goods against both Manchester City and Brighton.

The Hammers lost Pedro Obiang to Sassuolo but Pellegrini made a big mistake by not replacing him during the summer transfer window. And that’s why signing Rafinha in January would make complete sense for West Ham.

Predominantly a central midfielder, Rafinha can play in different positions across the middle of the park and such kind of versatility would certainly come in handy for Pellegrini. He can break up play as well by making crucial interceptions and timely challenges, whilst also offering creativity when required.

The two-cap Brazil international is moderately paced and can complete some lung-bursting dribbles from midfield. He can also spray passes accurately from the centre of the park and is capable of creating openings for the forwards.

The 26-year-old is comfortable in possession and has great technique. Rafinha manages to get himself in a pocket of space, and he packs in a hammer of a left foot which makes him a dangerous player in and around the opposition penalty box.

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The Brazilian will add balance in an attack heavy West Ham side. He’ll also be a great outlet to have on the counter-attack. Not to forget, the 26-year-old has decent European experience and is more than capable of playing at an elite level. All in all, the acquisition of Rafinha will potentially add more depth to Pellegrini’s squad.


Rafinha’s versatility would be a great asset for Pellegrini and given his talent, age and experience, he could turn out to be a smart piece of business for West Ham and bolster their hopes of breaking into the top-six this season.