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Three reasons why Barcelona cannot afford to miss out on Nico Williams’ signing

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Photo by ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP via Getty Images

Since Neymar left Barcelona back in 2017, Barcelona have sorely lacked a winger as dynamic and skillful, capable of not only getting spectators off their seats with electrifying moments but also notching output with incredible efficiency.

Although the Catalan giants were always bound to have their work cut out if they aspire to sign the Brazilian’s successor, some options could potentially fill the void.

One of them is Nico Williams. The Athletic Club winger is presently taking Europe by storm with jaw-dropping performances for the Spanish national team.

Extending his dazzling displays from the domestic season to the international stage has only served to heighten the buzz around him.

And his most recent masterclass against Georgia in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Euro 2024 affirmed that Barcelona are well within their right to consider him a priority signing.

In this piece, we take a look at three reasons why Barcelona simply cannot afford to overlook the opportunity to secure Nico Williams’ signature this summer.

Chemistry with Lamine Yamal

Pairing Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the flanks has been a masterstroke by Spain national team coach Luis de La Fuente. Every time they gain possession, fans can anticipate a moment of brilliance to unfold shortly after.

While playing on the opposite flanks means they rarely ever combine with each other, Nico and Yamal’s partnership as a whole is incredibly complementary.

Nico and Yamal can define a future era at Barcelona together. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Indeed, the 16-year-old sensation thrives with his decision-making and creative prowess. On top of that, he is immensely difficult to defend against when he cuts onto his left foot.

Meanwhile, Nico Williams electrifying one-versus-one dribbling is the perfect complement to Yamal’s creative vision, as he tends to hold width and is far more superior at attacking spaces out of possession.

The 21-year-old also boasts higher output, although with time Yamal’s numbers are expected to skyrocket too once he tames his nerves in the final third.

Last season, Nico Williams registered the second-most assists in La Liga, which is a testament to his impressive output.

Given the duo’s impressive exploits internationally and strong bond, Barcelona would be handed an extra incentive to recreate this formidable duo at the club.

Counter to Real Madrid signing Mbappe

Apart from a major sporting boon, signing Nico Williams is bound to raise excitement levels among the fan base.

With the whole of Europe bearing witness to the talented winger’s potential in a major international tournament, Barcelona will be able to launch a statement signing that embodies their ambitions.

Real Madrid have signed Kylian Mbappe. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

Following an incredibly successful season, Real Madrid added the cherry on top by picking up Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer.

While signing a player of Mbappe’s calibre is a monumental challenge for Barcelona, particularly given the club’s fickle finances, acquiring Nico Williams is a strong response.

In fact, it is also a cost-effective one. Despite being a man in high demand, the Basque winger carries a €58 million release clause, which arguably is a steal given the inflated state of the transfer market.

For Barcelona, maintaining high interest off the pitch and generating buzz among the fans is almost as important as the sporting aspect.

After all, as a European giant, the Catalan giants understand that their global brand and cultural impact extends far beyond the football pitch.

More importantly, Barcelona’s enduring rivalry with Real Madrid compels them to continually seek an advantage. This perpetual quest for supremacy fuels their drive to attract top talent and maintain a dominant presence globally.

As such, signing Williams could certainly allow the Blaugranes to be back in the conversation as a truly elite side.

Barcelona’s dire need of inspiration in attack

Nico can provide that spark Barcelona are missing. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Barça suffered a trophyless season in their most recently concluded campaign, which clearly alludes to the necessity of a squad revamp.

Reshaping the team’s attack would undeniably be a strong remedy for their failures. In that context, Nico Williams stands as an ideal candidate to revive Barcelona’s withered spirit.

As a dynamic winger who relishes putting defenders on their backs, his ability to single-handedly create advantages would bring a much-needed spark to a team that has been missing individual specialists since Ousmane Dembele left the club.

Presently, Lamine Yamal is too young to shoulder the responsibility of leading Barcelona’s frontline, while Robert Lewandowski, aged 35, is past his peak years.

Raphinha has deputized well in the left-wing position in recent times but is also naturally a right-winger.

As such, an all-rounder like Nico Williams, who boasts a decent output, specializes in mazy dribbles, and is well-versed off the ball, promises to be a breath of fresh air in Barcelona’s attack.

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