Who is Raphael Borges Rodrigues? Rangers transfer target who is ripping up the A-League in focus

Raphael Borges Rodrigues is on Rangers' radar
Raphael Borges Rodrigues is on Rangers' radar -Credit:Getty Images

Rangers could launch a summer move for Dutch starlet Raphael Borges Rodrigues.

Football Scotland revealed yesterday that the Australia Under-23s kid has emerged as a potential option for Gers boss Philippe Clement after starring in the A-League. Currently on the books of Macarthur, the 20-year-old has six goals and two assists and his form has also caught the attention of Coventry City, who have already contacted the player's representatives.

Tipped for a huge future, Raphael would fit Rangers' recruitment model of buying young and cheap and selling down the line for profit. Here, Football Scotland profiles the up-and-coming youngster who has emerged as one of the best young talents Down Under.

Who is Raphael Borges Rodrigues?

Known as Raphael, the Dutch-born winger started his career at Melbourne City after coming through their academy and is the son of former NAC, Roda JC and Basel forward Cristiano. He made his first-team breakthrough at the age of just 16 in the 2019-20 campaign and was handed his first start against arch-rivals Melbourne Victory in June 2021. Raphael netted his first professional goal in a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar in March 2022 but was surprisingly released last summer as the losing A-League grand finalists made sweeping changes ahead of the new season. Although he was born in the Netherlands, Raphael pledged his international future to the Socceroos and has been capped at Under-20 and 23s level.

Life at Macarthur FC

Following his release, Raphael penned a two-year deal with Aussie rivals Macarthur FC. Blessed with quick and skillful feet, the talented attacker has established himself as a regular at Campbelltown Stadium and has six goals in 32 appearances across all competitions - also shining in the AFC Cup. His blistering form has seen him lauded as one of the hottest prospects in the A League - triggering interest from Rangers, Coventry City, Watford and a host of European clubs.

What they've said

Manager Mile Sterjovski: "I think (Raphael) has been great for us this season. He’s got the confidence to do those kind of things. He’s a player that’s got a very bright future."

Pundit Ben Homer: "He really is looking good. Great football DNA, his dad Cristiano was a great player for Adelaide United. The systems he’s been involved with can all take their credit. You have to say, without knowing any better, that Mile Sterjovski is pressing all the right buttons with some of these youngsters, doing a great job."

Raphael himself: "I'm happy that I'm playing and getting as much game time as I can. I hadn't played consistently for the last couple of years. I've played basically every single game and I'm happy I'm playing. Mile believed in me 100 per cent and he knew I was ready to play and he wanted to give me the game time that I was striving for."