It’s always a good time to write on this topic, right? Now that Barcelona matches are only available on weekends, we have a lot of days to wait and a lot of time to kill. Nothing better than certain transfer temptations. We’ll have to live with all kinds of rumors until the end of the season. Being an election season won’t get any better, just add fuel to the fire.
So let’s go straight to the market!
Okay, for once I doubt there are any voices that will question Valdes as a first-rate guardian. We need to buy a backup guard. Pinto, despite all his good (and his bad) is aging. Barcelona Athletic’s goalkeepers have still not been tested and need at least three years to prove their reliability. The keeper we’re looking for doesn’t have to be a top-class keeper who demands playing time, but still good enough to cover up Valdes’ absence and with enough quality to keep Valdes alert to avoid competitive threats. Claudio Bravo of Real Sociedad has been mentioned as the main target. I still think it’s too good to be true. The 26-year-old Chilean international who will defend his nation at the upcoming World Cup may not find a tempting opportunity to warm the Barcelona bench for the rest of his career. In ten years, given the career of a goalkeeper. It will be absolute madness if that happens, in an absolutely fantastic way, in Barcelona.
On my short list – which has nothing to do with Barcelona goals – there is Daniel Fernandes for being one of the more realistic options. An older reliable – and perhaps inexpensive – option is Morgan De Sanctis which can serve for a few years. Cédric Carrasso is a less realistic option, but not impossible. Federico Marchetti is an interesting option to track down, while Joe Hart is unobtainable, although I want to list him here just to wonder why -OH WHY the heck!
I’ll make it short. I don’t want us to hire a defender this summer. I know the club are looking for a replacement for Alves. But as I mentioned last summer, there is no better save for Alves than Puyol. Still, if we need more confidence, bring back Caceres, Henrique, or promote a Cantera. I don’t know who’s under the recce radars at the moment, but I’ll be so surprised if the targets are Caceres or Henrique quality. I’ve watched them close this season and I’m more sure than before that they can serve the team well.
In addition, there is a decision to be made regarding Botia who is having a very good season on loan. There is a decision to be made regarding Muniesa, Fontàs, Bartra and the rest of the defenders we have at Barca Athletic who are eager to see the light come out of the tunnel towards the first team. The decision might not be to promote them all next season, but at least send a clear message that they are in our plans and that they will have a chance and a space over time.
My opinion on the signing of Cesc Fabregas is still the same. What once sounded like a weird argument is a belief for a decent sector of Barcelona fans now. It’s not fair to pay the amount of money needed to bring Cesc home, he found himself a new home for himself once, and he can find another home if he wanted. But the guy is most likely a Barcelona player next season. When he wears the Barcelona jersey, he will be our child again and will have all the support he needs.
For fifty million cash you can buy Silva who can do everything Cesc does and more, and you will still have enough money to make a deal with a hairdresser to take care of Iniesta’s hair for the rest of his career. . It is smarter to invest this amount of money on Silva and Iniesta’s hair than on Cesc, without offense.
But the guy is coming. If we managed to keep Jonathan Dos Santos or Thiago Alcantara, fine! I hope they will always feel motivated enough to fight for a future at the club. I think JDS will be a victim of Cesc’s signing as he plays almost an identical role, while Thiago has other characteristics that make him a different type of player than Cesc.
If Yaya stayed, those are all the changes to be expected in midfield. We will have an impossible challenge to find play time for everyone anyway. So we won’t add more complications. If Yaya has decided to leave, we’ll give him a second attempt to get Mascherano, which is closer to Barcelona than some think. If I’m reading Pep correctly (who knows?), It seems he wants more agility and endurance in the midfield department than strength. With Busquets improving on the weekly basis, a pure defensive midfielder who can create an extremely different option for Pep is reasonable. When you want a more dynamic midfielder, you get a Busquets. When you want a more static defensive midfielder covering behind offensive troops like a vacuum cleaner, you use Holding’s alternate midfielder (Yaya or Mascherano). Yaya – in a good mood and in good shape – is better than Mascherano when it comes to helping make games. Busquets is better than both. As a pure defensive midfielder, Mascherano tops the list. Added to the rumor that Mascherano has yet to renew his contract with Liverpool, it means he will be more accessible next summer than he was last summer. But that will only happen if Yaya leaves. Buying Cesc means more payouts in the midfield if no one leaves.
First of all, we need to sort out what we have. At the moment we have Messi, Ibra and Henry added to Pedro, Jeffren and Bojan, with Iniesta being used when needed. I don’t know what Henry’s future plans are, but I’ll be happy to keep him. There are doubts if Henry can prove useful for the club next season, which is valid. However, for a player who is already on your team, the most important question is: how to enjoy his presence for as long as possible? As a key player and for the terms of the contract he currently has, it’s not a very profitable situation for the club (if we only weigh the costs of subsequent seasons against the profits, which is unfair because the value of the contract should be assessed by comparing the cost vs contribution of the players during the entire duration of the contract).
If Henry wants to stay until his contract expires, he is more than welcome. If he wants to move elsewhere, I hope the club will release him for free so he can negotiate with any team he wants for his own benefit. It is the least we can do.
Still, if he’s ready to consider a new contract, I think it’s in the best of the team to extend Henry’s contract for another two years (yes !!) while lowering his annual income, and making it clear that it will be used more. as a game changer than a key starter during his new term of contract. There is no better player Barcelona can sign to change the game than Henry. I tagged him as the new Larsson once, and I still hope that wishful thinking comes true.
I only have two options to choose from, if we decide to sign a new player: Silva and Villa. All other options are far behind.
If Henry leaves, we have to sign a new player without any questions:
1) If we sign Silva, the attack line will look like this:
Silva-Ibra-Messi as starters and Pedro-Bojan -Jeffren as substitutes. Not a bad structure, but there is a huge flaw in it, we will only have one striker -Ibra- to rely on as an offensive reference (9), considering that Bojan is still not ready for a key role. Imagine Ibra getting injured for a few games, we will definitely have big problems.
2) If we sign Villa, the attack line will look like this:
Villa-Ibra-Messi as starters and Pedro-Bojan -Jeffren as substitutes. It’s my favorite structure. Villa is a goal striker who will be converted to a forward flank role (Henry), which will guarantee more scoring qualities than getting a pure wing. It is more compatible with the Ibra and Messi style of play than any other option and it fits perfectly with our tactical structure which is a mix of 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 diamond. Even for young people, it is better for the first team to sign a 28-year-old rather than a 22-year-old wing. Keeping in mind that so far we don’t really have a young striker we can bank on for the future (in the next 5 years), while on the flanks we have a lot of Pedros and by Jeffrens. Even Bojan is currently closer to a flanked attacker / second attacker than a nine.
If Henry stays:
This means having Pedro-Ibra-Messi as starters and Bojan-Henry-Jeffren as substitutes. Not a bad structure but we can improve it a lot more:
New signing – Ibra-Messi with Pedro-Henry-Jeffren / Bojan in reinforcement. This means that we have to decide whether we will keep Bojan or Jeffren. Keeping them both is so impractical that they will eat up everyone’s playing time or, at best, dominate the less skilled. At least one loan decision should be made in this case.
Even with Henry remaining, I still prefer Villa over Silva, especially if we signed Cesc. Silva is a great talent that any team would love to sign, but I can’t think of anything Silva can do that Iniesta cant do. Something we can’t say about Villa.
I won’t be the last time we take a virtual shopping tour, but here’s what my transfer wishlist looks like so far.