Newcastle United lost for just the second time in the Premier League this season as they were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool at St. James’ Park on Saturday.
The Magpies have now won just one of their last seven matches in the top-flight and scoring goals has been a major issue for Eddie Howe’s men in those games.
They have found the back of the net only four times since their 3-0 win over Leicester on Boxing Day and have failed to score more than once in a match in any of their last seven outings.
Howe has not been able to find a consistent match-winner for the club since the turn of the year and this has resulted in a number of bore draws and frustrating results.
The recent struggles in front of goal may make PIF regret not splashing out on a proven game-changer in either the January transfer window or last summer.
One player the club had a howler with ahead of the 2022/23 campaign was former Leeds United winger Raphinha. Newcastle were reportedly in talks to sign the Brazilian as an alternative to Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby but failed to get a deal over the line for either of them.
How is Raphinha performing this season?
Instead of arriving on Tyneside, the dynamo joined Spanish giants Barcelona in a deal said to be worth up to £55m from the Whites and he has been in terrific form so far this season.
The Brazil international, who was recently dubbed “extraordinary” by his current boss Xavi, has racked up seven goals and nine assists in 31 appearances for the club in all competitions, including a goal and an assist in their recent 2-2 draw with Manchester United in the Europa League.
In LaLiga, Raphinha has averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.26 and has showcased his creative talent by producing a whopping nine ‘big chances’ in total and 1.4 key passes per game for his teammates, which shows that the wizard is an exceptional creator to go along with his goalscoring quality.
Meanwhile, Miguel Almiron (one) and Allan Saint-Maximin (three) have not been able to create ‘big chances’ on a regular basis for Newcastle in the Premier League this term, whilst only two players (Almiron and Callum Wilson) have scored more than three goals.
The Barcelona star is also a proven game-changer in the English top-flight as the dynamo scored 17 goals and created an outstanding 22 ‘big chances’ in two seasons for Leeds.
Therefore, the 26-year-old, who can play out wide on the left and on the right, could have been the difference-maker and match-winner that the Magpies have been missing in the Premier League of late.
Raphinha has proven over the course of several seasons in Spain and in England that he is a consistent performer who delivers goals and assists from out wide, meaning he could have turned some of the recent draws into wins to bolster Newcastle’s top-four chances.
As such, PIF clearly had a howler in failing to get a deal over the line for the Brazilian magician.
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