Former Atletico Madrid and current Inter Milan striker Diego Forlán is set to come to the Camp Nou on a loan, according to multiple media sources in Spain (Sport), Italy and Forlán’s homeland of Uruguay. Fox Sports is said to be reporting that the Uruguayan has all but agreed to move to Barcelona on a six-month loan from Inter Milan.
Forlán has only appeared in eight games for Inter this season.
My people in Spain have been telling me about this possible deal for a few days now. They tell me that this gained momentum only in the past 24 hours as most in the Barça club organization doubted if Inter would loan out Forlán after Massimo Moratti's club was not going to obtain the services of Carlos Tevez. Carlitos' agent told the media a few days ago that his client, the player Inter had been targeting for months, would prefer to play in Milan, but for AC Milan. Nevertheless, it appears that Inter are willing to loan out the 32-year-old striker.
If this loan is finalized, how would Forlán change things for Pep Guardiola's team?
I think this would be good insurance policy for the blaugrana. It’s not a game-changing move, but it’s a decent move under Barcelona’s financial circumstances.
With Villa out, Forlán would be the natural striker Barcelona does not have right now. He is not fast, but Forlán is aggressive and a natural goal-scorer.
Forlán would not be a starter, let's make that clear. Forlán would come off the bench and more than likely play 20 or even 30 minutes a game.
If the loan is made, the most interesting part will be how Pep decides to use Diego in his system. One possibility would be to put Forlán at striker and move Lionel Messi to his former position of RW. This would free up Messi as he wouldn't have as many defenders surrounding him. But this would also hurt Messi as he would not be in the middle of the field which allows him to touch the ball more and create more plays for the team. Let’s not forget how Forlán’s lack of speed would hurt the rhythm of the team as well.
Another way which Forlán could be placed would be to play a 4-4-1-1 with Forlán as the striker and Messi playing central forward. Messi's role on the pitch would be similar to the role Wayne Rooney plays at Manchester United.
I don’t see Pep changing his 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 formations for Diego, so it seems like the most likely role for Diego Forlán would be to simply replace David Villa's spot at LW. Forlán has played the position many times, and Pep would not have to change his tactics to facilitate Forlán.
While Diego Forlán may not be the star striker he once was, he still is a quality, passionate player and is a natural goal-scorer à la Raul of Schalke 04.
Forlán is an excellent free-kick taker as well.
With Barcelona's financial issues hindering them from making bigger moves, obtaining Diego Forlán on loan would not be a bad move for the club. Diego is looking at one last chance to show that he can still contribute on a European team. Forlán cannot replace the talent and skills of “El Guaje” Villa, but is capable of giving Barcelona quality play.
And quality play is never refused by any club.