Opinion: What are the priorities for Barça in the transfer window?
The last article assessing the departures ahead of the 20/21 season has made some virtual money for Barça, and these should be the main priorities of this summer transfer window.
Departures in a transfer window often leave empty spaces that should be filled as soon as possible with the money these players got their club. The latest article about departures has generated a lot of potential money for Barcelona. These departures also free up so many wages as heavyweights –– Luis Suárez, Arturo Vidal, Iván Rakitic… –– could leave the club in the next few days, and God knows how big their salaries are at Barça.
With every summer transfer window come interrogations, and Barcelona should focus on their weakest points to pinpoint the best players for the job. These are a few of the sectors that Barça should focus on this summer:
The latest piece included the exits of both Sergi Roberto and Nélson Semedo, two out of their depth right-backs, behind for the greater good. Semedo’s lack of concepts is worrying for a starting right-back at Barcelona, and Sergi is neither a midfielder nor a defender at Barça. The blaugranas should focus on two right-backs. One that’s a starter and a younger one who could learn from the more experienced player mentoring him.
What the Catalans also need is an attacking right-back who understands the defensive duties they are given. No matter who the manager is, the right-back cannot show glimpses of talent in attack and completely forget his responsibilities at the back. Also, they should consider putting some money on the table for a near world-class right-back as it would be an investment for years to come.
Third-choice or starting centre-back
Samuel Umtiti will leave, but his departure would leave a gap in the defence as the third-choice centre-back. After the Bayern game, Gerard Piqué offered to take a step back if needed. It either means the legendary defender has either offered to leave or become a secondary figure in the starting eleven. The culés subsequently need one or two defenders that are either ready now or within a few months at Camp Nou.
“We all need to reflect deeply. If new blood needs to come for the club to change course then I will be the first one to leave if that is what it is best for the team. We need to reflect on what is the best thing for the club and for Barça“
There have been many rumours concerning centre-backs and conceding eight in a match for Barça means that the defender needs to make fans forget about it with a lot of leadership, something that the defence has lacked in the past few years. Roma, Liverpool, Bayern…All these debacles happened without a vocal or technical leaders in the defence other than Marc-André ter Stegen, who himself had his worst game with either his feet or his hands in a garnet and blue shirt on Friday.
This defender will have to instil confidence with both his feet and his voice in a team utterly bereft of hope and self-esteem. A fresh start with new and young centre-backs while phasing out methodically Piqué and selling Umtiti would be much needed at the Camp Nou.
Speaking of phasing out heavyweights methodically, we talked about selling Junior Firpo last time around, and this comes with a starting left-back with him. Jordi Alba has made his time as a starter for Barcelona. The eight years at the Camp Nou combining with Lionel Messi and winning trophies have been glorious, but it’s time for the former Valencia left-back to either leave or accept a secondary role, just as Piqué did. At 31, the defender doesn’t possess the insane pace he once had and is undoubtedly less clinical than before.
While some veterans are still valuable to have in the squad, the club can’t wait anymore to start replacing them | Photo by Rafael Marchante / Pool / AFP via Getty Images
Alba’s replacement should be a carbon copy of the young defender that joined from Valencia after the 2012 Euros. A quick, ambitious and altruistic defender who gives his all for the team and assists his teammates with passion. There aren’t a lot of left-backs that could work, but at least there are some.
Barcelona will need a midfield revamp after years of not touching it. With Arthur Melo gone and Miralem Pjanić in, Iván Rakitić, Arturo Vidal and Rafinha Alcântara are expected to leave the club and be replaced with new, more energetic players. Barcelona have produced lots of great young talents in midfield and will not need to spend big as they can promote one or two players already. If they want a superstar signing in midfield though, there are many, but they all come at a price.
Barça could splash the cash on a great midfielder to climb back from the insanely poor midfields that played in every debacle for three years.
Young, starting striker
Luis Suárez suffering from a steady decline, Messi ageing, Antoine Griezmann not finding his feet and Ousmane Dembélé being injured, it’s fair to say the attacking department is a massive problem at Barcelona. With Francisco Trincão, a fit Dembélé and Ansu Fati, the wings may be set for a few years, and these exciting youngsters should do damage with their pace if utilised most efficiently.
The real interrogation is the striking department. As Griezmann is not a lone striker, he would have to play off someone good enough to score the goals while the Frenchman does what he does best, and that is run and attract defenders to open spaces. Indeed, Griezmann will run, but the new man upfront should be mobile enough to create his own chances and not wait for them as Suárez does nowadays. He should be young and aggressive to force an error from the opponents’ side. Barcelona shouldn’t pay as much as they have for the midfielder, though, because the striker position is a matter of confidence.
Barcelona have a lot to do this summer, but they should be able to rebuild a squad just as Bayern did a few years ago. They should spend big on a few select positions and not waste money on Brazilian youngsters or B team signings. With the money they will potentially raise, especially as 17 players are reportedly on the market, Barça will be able to rebuild and splash the cash wisely, that’s if president Josep Maria Bartomeu has learnt from his mistakes.
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