'Might take him time': Paul Merson says 25-year-old linked with Chelsea could initially struggle at Stamford Bridge

Paul Merson thinks Leeds United star Raphinha could initially struggle at Stamford Bridge if he joins Chelsea.

Raphinha, 25, is a talented Brazilian winger at the heart of transfer rumours this summer.

It’s been reported Chelsea have had a £55million bid accepted from Leeds to sign the South American attacker. However, the Blues are facing an obstacle in getting him to agree personal terms amid rival interest in his signature from Barcelona.

All eyes are on the Leeds attacker to see his destination next season.

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Merson thinks Raphinha could struggle if he joins Chelsea

Pundit Merson believes it’s going to take a period of time to settle in for Raphinha if he moves to West London.

The 25-year-old’s proven he’s Premier League quality during the last two seasons with Leeds, scoring 17 goals and making 12 assists in that time.

However, he’s been used to being a big fish in a small pond at Elland Road. The intensity and scrutiny would increase tenfold in a Chelsea shirt, as well as at rival suitors Barcelona.

“If they (Chelsea) get Raphinha, that’s a big adjustment too. It might take him time to settle because he’s used to playing with freedom at Leeds and he’d have to fit into a structure,” Merson wrote for the Daily Star.

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Elite benchmark

Unfortunately, Chelsea know they’ll need to be on it from day one to be competitive in next season’s Premier League.

Manchester City and Liverpool are regularly hitting 90+ points each season, so there’s little margin for error if you want to be in the mix for the title.

Chelsea desperately need their attackers in the new campaign to start well, whether that be new signings or the current crop on the books.

They did well in most games last season in terms of creating chances, but it’s vital the forwards are more clinical.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.