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Three ways Barcelona could line up in attack if Nico Williams is signed



Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Barcelona are eager to improve their squad in the summer transfer window, and the proposition of signing Nico Williams has already heightened the excitement among fans.

Joan Laporta, in a candid interview today, affirmed Barcelona’s intentions of acquiring Nico Williams and dropped a direct hint that their financial upswing enables them to pursue his signature.

Possessing an economical €58 million release clause, Nico Williams is not solely in Barcelona’s crosshairs and has piqued the interest of several European heavyweights.

However, the 21-year-old speedster is incredibly enthusiastic about donning the Blaugrana crest and his strong relationship with the Barcelona players in the Spanish national team merely reinforces his desire to make the leap.

The club hopes that securing this promising talent will grease the wheels for a successful season ahead.

Here are three ways Barcelona’s attack could shape up if Williams is signed this summer.

1. Nico-Lewandowski-Yamal

Unmatched chemistry. (Photo by ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Barcelona’s aspirations of fielding an attack that can guarantee both creativity and goals would be fulfilled with a strikeforce comprising Nico Williams, Robert Lewandowski, and Lamine Yamal.

Yamal and Williams’ wing pairing has already found tremendous success with the Spanish national team, given how much their strengths complement each other.

The duo has taken Europe by storm, bringing international glory within reach as Spain face France in the Euro semi-finals.

The 16-year-old integrates creativity and becomes more active in the right half-space, while Williams contrasts him by continually holding width and effortlessly dribbling past defenders.

Adding Lewandowski to the mix ensures even more problems for opposition defenders, as he would relish having a creator like Yamal on his right and a left winger like Williams who can not only lure attention but also make incisive runs and finish chances with precision.

With Hansi Flick at the helm, Lewandowski is anticipated to be considerably involved in the final third. Being accompanied by two magnetic wingers will benefit him in terms of increased space.

Such a fearsome trident also allows for the midfielders to be liberated and make crashing runs inside the box, which only adds to the threat.

2. Nico-Lewandowski-Raphinha

Nico and Raphinha could make Barça thrive on the flanks. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

The potential arrival of Nico Williams solves one of Barcelona’s greatest concerns: a crippling lack of depth.

With the Athletic Club winger in the squad, Barça can experiment with different setups based on the opposition and afford to rest Lamine Yamal, who is still just a teenager.

Last season, Barcelona’s shortage of natural left-wingers meant Raphinha often had to fill in on the left flank, despite being a natural right-winger.

Consequently, Yamal was frequently required to start games on the right, even in less crucial matches where resting him would have been more beneficial.

However, Nico remedies that issue by providing a versatile and dynamic option on the left wing, allowing Raphinha to return to his preferred right side and giving Yamal much-needed respite to maintain his performance levels throughout the season.

In addition to preserving Yamal, Raphinha can complement Williams as a creative force with his trademark inswinging crosses and drifting inward, where he is most effective.

Last season, due to Barcelona not possessing a classic winger on the left, Raphinha was regularly forced to operate as an isolation winger on the right, which goes against his inclination to roam centrally.

As such, it is safe to say that with Williams joining Barcelona, the Catalan giants strike two birds with one stone.

3. Ferran-Lewandowski-Nico

Ferran and Nico can complement each other. (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Although Nico Williams essentially plies his trade on the left wing, he is well-versed on both flanks and has played multiple games on the right for Athletic Club.

This is largely because of his ambipedal style of play and knack for putting defenders on their backside, irrespective of the flank he is playing on.

Moreover, Williams’ versatility opens up opportunities for Ferran Torres to start on the left flank. With the 21-year-old providing width and Ferran playing as an inside forward, this setup not only eases pressure on Lewandowski but also adds another goal-scoring threat.

Xavi’s successful deployment of the trident featuring Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Ousmane Dembele in his debut season highlights the effectiveness of such complementary roles.

Aubameyang thrived as a goal poacher, Dembele hugged the touchline, and Ferran exploited space with intelligent off-the-ball movement.

In a similar vein, the trio of Ferran, Lewandowski, and Nico promises to emulate this success, rekindling these promising facets under Xavi’s guidance.

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