Laporta talks Xavi, Lewandowski, Dembele, Ferran Torres and transfer targets
Following the transfer business that Barcelona have completed so far, club president Joan Laporta is a happy man.
Currently with the squad in the US on their pre-season tour, the Barça supremo did an interview with Hristo Stoickhov on TUDN, during which he spoke about the direction that the club are taking under Xavi, new signings, plans for the rest of the summer and a lot of other things.
Kicking things off, Laporta insisted that Barcelona will not repeat the mistakes of the past and sign players who will fit into their style and ideologies.
“Barcelona will not make the same mistakes again. We will not have players who do not fit our style. We will move carefully,” he said.
Having strengthened the attack significantly, the Barça president confirmed that the club is now focusing on the backline. “It’s now time to strengthen our defence. I can’t give names, but we will strengthen our defence. Xavi gave us 6 names, and I hope the Cules will enjoy,” he added.
Laporta then went into the details of Lewandowski’s signing, saying: “Lewandowski signed for €45M + €5M in variables. We have to thank him because he pressured Bayern to move to Barcelona when PSG & Chelsea were interested in him.”
The president confirmed that the 33-year-old would be earning less than what he would have at PSG and Chelsea. “We have to thank Lewa because he is receiving less than what PSG or Chelsea offered,” he added.
Continuing on Lewandowski, Laporta said: “Every top team has a ‘killer’ striker up top. Now, we have secured that too. I know that Culés are very happy with the signing of Lewandowski.”
Hailing the attacking depth in the squad, Laporta said: “With Lewandowski, Ansu Fati, and Aubameyang, goals are guaranteed.”
“Lewandowski, Raphinha, Dembélé, Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati, Aubameyang, and let’s see how Abde develops… All of these players will contribute to our spectacular frontline that will score lots of goals,” he added.
Talking about manager Xavi and the direction in which he wants to take the team, Laporta stated: “Pressure, passion, possession. That is what Xavi is trying to implement at Barça.
“With the young players and the experienced ones, look at this team starting to take shape. Everything has to be synchronized and coordinated. It’s an orchestra with Xavi directing.”
Laporta also touched upon Ousmane Dembele’s re-signing, saying: “Dembele wants to succeed here at Barcelona. He will help us a lot.”
The Barcelona supremo also backed Ferran Torres to come good after a mixed start to life at Camp Nou. “I think that Ferran Torres is a player that can score goals and has very high potential,” Laporta exclaimed.
Talking about his ambitions for the team, Laporta insisted that he wants to take Barcelona to the top and they needed to invest in the squad as football does not wait for anyone.
“Football can’t wait; we need a competitive team now. My dream is to make Barça the global reference in football again,” he said.
“I always try to improve on things that I have done in the past. We’re going to try and do better than we did in my first era es president. That’d be very difficult though, as I am the president of the sextuple and the 2-6 at the Bernabeu in the same season.”
Laporta also hailed the recruitment department in place at Camp Nou, saying: “Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cruyff are doing a great job in the football department.
“Also with Rafa Yuste as the vice president, and Enric Masip helping. We have a phenomenal team that is working to meet our goals.”
The Barça supremo also insisted that there was a nice balance within the team, with stars for the future like Nico and Pedri coming through while new signings like Raphinha, Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen were in their late 20s, with the veterans also in the mix.
“The team for the future is starting to take shape: Araujo, Pedri, Gavi, Eric García, Nico, Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres… All of them are under 21. Some are 17!
“If you have noticed, we have signed players who are in the middle age bracket. Those who are 25,26,27… we didn’t have them before,” he added before saying, “This year, I hope that the veterans will again show the level that we all expect them to be at.”