David Villa: Where Does the FC Barcelona Forward's Future Lie?
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Recently, Villa has been linked with moves to a number of teams in the January transfer window. Chiefly, Arsenal, who, as reported by Goal.com, tabled a formal opening offer of €12 million for the Asturian.
This week, however, Barcelona president Sandro Rosell ruled out a winter transfer, citing that the team needs him for the remainder of the season.
A wise decision.
While the issue has been resolved temporarily, the versatile forward's situation with the Catalans remains tense and he may look to take his career elsewhere.
Theoretically, Villa is the perfect fit in Barca's bold attacking trident. In fact, he has proven it, scoring vital goals as the Blaugrana charged to a La Liga, Champions League double in 2010/2011.
Then came the broken leg, suffered in a Club World Cup semifinal. Here's a clip, but it's pretty brutal.
After recovering this season, however, Villa continues to wait for increased game time and a more prominent role in the new setup under Tito Vilanova.
A slight tactical change in the roles of Barca's wide forwards has seen the new manager preferring the likes of Pedro and Alexis in his starting eleven, despite often subpar returns.
Further, the improved form of Cesc Fabregas has seriously limited Villa's opportunities. Fabregas has forced his way into the starting lineup, moving Iniesta to the left-wing, Villa's favoured position. While previously causing congestion, the arrival of Jordi Alba has provided the necessary width, overlapping from fullback.
"El Guaje," at 31, is also not getting any younger. With Tello on hand, the prodigy Deulofeu on the rise and the arrival of Neymar imminent, the Asturian knows that his days with Barca are numbered.
If the English media frenzy in recent weeks indicates anything, it is that David Villa is most welcome to join the English Premier League.
Indeed, England would prove a new challenge for a player who has already won it all in Spain and at international level.
He has played well in his time wide of Messi, but remained in the shadow of the great Argentine. Villa would most likely relish being the top dog at a new club.
Most prominent in recent rumours, Arsenal would be an ideal destination for the Asturian. He would fit in comfortably where Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski normally operate, bringing goals and a winning mentality to Arsene Wenger's side. Indeed, Wenger's philosophies align nicely with Villa's abilities.
Liverpool's drop in prestige in recent years would hurt their chances of landing the striker, but Spurs could be a surprise option. Emmanuel Adebayor's status under Villas-Boas is not exactly stable.
Juventus, however, might be Villa's best bet if the "Old Lady" does not fill their void this January. The Italian champions have been playing enviable football under Antonio Conte and are now firming as a team with Champions League pedigree.
Nonetheless, they still lack a prolific striker, and Villa would fit the bill.
A Stay in Spain?
Not all options lie abroad, however, for David Villa.
Atletico Madrid reportedly see the Barcelona man as a possible replacement for Radamel Falcao, who will predictably be the hottest property in world football this year.
With Atleti on the rise in La Liga and in Europe, a move to Madrid might not be a bad option. Similarly, a move to Malaga, should they sort their finances out, could be tempting.
Both teams could be looking for strikers in the summer, and Villa has proven himself as a goalscorer anywhere he goes in Spain.
Even a return to Valencia is something of a possibility.
Not Just Yet
Importantly though, Villa will not move this winter.
That much is clear.
Only time will tell, however, as to whether he gets adequate chances to again prove his worth to the Catalan giants.
Who knows, he could be banging another goal in at Wembley come May in the Champions League final.
Is David Villa's time coming to an end at Barcelona? Can he fight his way back in to the fold at Barcelona? Where would you advise him to take his football?
Join the discussion below and please also hit me up on Twitter for more Barca news and informed views.
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