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Barcelona Transfer Rumours: 3 Rumoured January Targets

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentDecember 25, 2012

Barcelona Transfer Rumours: 3 Rumoured January Targets

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    In the midst of happy holidays, let’s see the three rumoured January transfer targets reported by the media for Barcelona.

    This article will analyse the player in question, determine if he is good enough for Barça and whether or not the club needs him. 

    Guys, please spare a thought for Tito Vilanova, who will begin chemotherapy in a bid to beat cancer. Ánims, Tito. 

    Assistant manager Jordi Roura has taken over the reigns as caretaker coach. 

Adel Taarabt

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    Queens Park Rangers attacking midfielder Adel Taarabt is being chased by several clubs, one of them being Barcelona. In his own words (via Mirror Football): "I have been told that the president of Anzhi and people from Barcelona have asked about me." 

    If you're a football aficionado, trust that gut feeling, because you're probably thinking: "wait a minute... I've heard this before, Adel!"

    Well, you would be right. Take a look at some of his quotes to the media in recent years.

    March 24, 2010 via ESPN Soccernet:

    I look at teams like Bolton, Stoke or Wolves and say: 'There is just no point for me. I hate that style of football. England is not for me, I think La Liga is the best League for me'. I hope to be playing for one of the top four in Spain next season—Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia or Sevilla. I have had contact with good teams and I know that they want me.

    June 16, 2010 via the Daily Mail:

    I have a deal with Tottenham but it is true that Villarreal have asked about me.

    January 28, 2011 via Mark Bollons at GiveMeFootball.com:

    I like the way Arsenal play. If Arsenal come, of course, I'll be very happy.

     January 30, 2011 from The People via Sky Sports:

    I had discussions about my transfer after my performance against Coventry. I'm ready to go to Manchester United. I like England, so I am not against the idea of continuing my career at United.

    June 20, 2011 via Massimo Marioni at The Metro:

    I've had contact with Arsenal and Chelsea, but it’s a bit of a mess. QPR are demanding £10 million for me, and for now, clubs aren't moving too much.

    June 24, 2011 from L'Equipe via ESPN FC:

    I want to go to Paris [Saint-Germain], but if it is not resolved this weekend, it no longer will be. Would it be a disappointment if I didn't join Paris? Of course because I want to come. In England I will make more money but Paris, it's the capital of France.

     

    Whoring himself out to the tabloids just like Kim Kardashian.

    For the sake of this slide, let's delve into the possibility of Barcelona signing Taarabt. 

    It's a catch-22 for him since he extended his contract at QPR to improve his salary, but he should be playing for a better club—one that isn't stuck in the relegation zone. 

     

    League Only Goals Shots Per Goal Assists Shots Created Per Game Dribbles Per Game
    Alexis Sánchez - -* 3 1.4 0.5
    Cristian Tello 3 3 2 0.8 1.1
    David Villa 5 1.8 1 0.3 0.2 
    Isaac Cuenca ** 2 7.5 2 1 0.9
    Pedro 1 23 5 0.9 0.9
    Taarabt 4 13 2 2.6 3.1

     

    * Alexis has taken seven shots.

    ** Cuenca has been rehabbing his knee hence why he hasn't made a La Liga appearance this season. His statistics used in the table have been taken from last season, where he played 16 league games. 

     

    The reason why Taarabt's dribbles per game is so much higher than the aforementioned Barça players is because their system is the tiqui-taca—pass, move, control. 

    The only player given the green-light to go solo is Lionel Messi, whose 3.6 dribbles per La Liga game, is 2.1 higher than the next active player (Andrés Iniesta; 1.5). 

    Taarabt is QPR's answer to Messi, thus the Moroccan's offensive statistics look good because he always touches the ball. 

    The likes of Alexander Hleb, Alexis, Geovanni, Juan Román Riquelme, Ricardo Quaresma and Simão prove that footballers with world-class technique can fail at Barça. 

    Give Gerard Deulofeu or Luis Alberto a chance, instead of signing Taarabt. 

    When you go into the logistics of the transfer, Taarabt just signed a three-year extension, so why would Barcelona submit a €12-20 million bid for an impact sub/occasional starter? 

    How will he react to being just a role player at Barcelona? Will he handle being berated by Messi for not looking up or not playing a first-touch pass

    Taarabt's abrasive personality and constant need to be in the power position is bound to clash with Messi. 

    Plus Taarabt will be so fed up with his bench warming duties at Barça that he'll claim Espanyol want him. 

Neven Subotić

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    According to Jason Pettigrove at Inside Spanish FootballBorussia Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotić is Barcelona-bound. 

    Barça need a world-class centre-back but judging Subotić's recent form, he isn't the answer. 

    In the last 10 games Subotić has played, Dortmund have registered two clean sheets. 

    Let's take a look at the top five centre-backs ranked by kicker and Bild

    kicker

    1. Dante (Bayern Munich)

    2. Timm Klose (Nürnberg)

    3. Philipp Wollscheid (Bayer Leverkusen)

    4. Ömer Toprak (Bayer Leverkusen)

    5. Bo Svensson (Mainz) 

    Bild

    1. Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich)

    2. Dante (Bayern Munich)

    3. Timm Klose (Nürnberg)

    4. Martin Stranzl (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

    5. Georg Niedermeier (Stuttgart)

     

    Subotić hasn't been in vintage form nor is he a better passer than someone like Torino's Angelo Ogbonna, who completes 93.5 percent of his passes, is nine percent higher than Subotić. The Italian would be a better fit with the Blaugrana than the Serbian. 

    With Dortmund still in the UEFA Champions League, if a move to Barcelona was to eventuate, it would happen in the summer and not in January. 

Thibaut Courtois

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    Geoff Sweet at The Sun believes Atlético Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who's on loan from Chelsea, is a transfer target for Barcelona as they seek a replacement for Víctor Valdés.

    The same Barcelona that at one point during this season have played Javier Mascherano, Alex Song, and Adriano at centre-back?

    Against Celta Vigo, Barça played three at the back, with Jordi Alba theoretically a centre-back, but he was as an attacking left-back—he also scored a candidate for the most offside goal ever. 

    With all the suspect defensive moments, lapses in concentration and defensive breakdowns, they may fail the eye-test, but the Catalan club have only conceded 19 goals in 17 La Liga games. 

    My point is they will continue to play with defensive limitations—Valdés being one of the main perpetrators—until it costs them big-time in a major final. 

    Courtois looked meek against them in 4-1 and 5-0 losses because it seems his kryptonite is Barça, so it's odd they would target him. 

     

    League Only Save % Saves Per Goal Conceded Total Saves
    Courtois  69.4 2.3 34
    Valdés 66 1.8 35
    Willy Caballero 81.7 4.1 49

     

    Courtois has exceeded expectations in his spell at Atlético but his performances this season aren't that much better than Valdés.

    If Courtois was playing like Caballero, then it's somewhat tangible that Barcelona would actively pursue the Belgian, even though he's owned by Chelsea. 

    What may happen is Courtois demanding to be the Blues' No. 1, which won't happen because Petr Čech is contracted to 2016, and then forcing a move away from Chelsea. 

    Gee, I wonder where Courtois will want to go.

    To Barcelona, who've stuck with Valdés through thick and thin, or to Atlético, the club that have given him the No. 1 job as a loanee. 

     

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    Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com and Fox Soccer

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