FC Barcelona: La Blaugrana's No. 1 January Transfer Target
The summer transfer window has finally slammed shut, but for Barcelona the last few months have not been a success. La Blaugrana was able to add Brazilian Neymar to the squad, but that was the only incoming transfer.
Fans and pundits alike were all too aware of the defensive issues that Barcelona suffered last season, and it was expected that the club would sign a capable center-back this summer. Yet that did not happen.
In fact new manager Tata Martino was quoted by The Independent as saying, “We have (Carles) Puyol, (Gerard) Pique, (Javier) Mascherano, (Marc) Bartra, even Adriano. If there's an injury, the January transfer window is only a few months away.”
With those words it becomes increasingly likely that Barcelona will look to make moves during this January’s transfer window.
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol is not the player he used to be. Age has taken a toll on his pace, and against stronger opponents the Catalan defender can even become a liability for La Blaugrana.
Puyol has also suffered several injuries in his career and doesn’t stay healthy for long. The 35-year-old just recently returned from a two-month layoff due to knee surgery, and it will be quite some time before he is ready to contribute again.
Javier Mascherano was converted from a defensive midfielder to a center-back a few years ago and has done a good job at his new position.
Despite Mascherano’s impressive form in some matches he has never been a great center-back. His small stature and positioning problems have led to many conceded goals, and it quickly became clear that the Argentine is not a promising starter in defense for Barcelona.
In truth Barcelona really only have two tried and true center-backs in the current squad.
Gerard Pique is the only center-back that has his role locked down. The La Masia graduate was one of the best defenders in the world a few years ago, but his form began to drop recently. And with Puyol no longer Pique’s partner, his defensive problems slowly came to light.
Marc Bartra on the other hand could be the answer to all of Barcelona’s problems. The 22-year-old has showed that he has the talent to be a real star, but the Catalan club refuses to give him a chance to shine.
Last season Bartra only made eight appearances in the league according to Squawka.com. However in those matches he only made one defensive error while winning 74 percent of his tackles and half of his aerials.
But in January there will be a target. Barcelona must finally answer the defensive questions.
Will Barcelona finally address the defensive issue in January?
The defenders currently on the squad are the same ones that suffered last season. Not much will have changed over the summer, and there are still massive problems for the back line that can only be addressed with a change.
When January rolls around it is imperative that the Catalan club targets a new center-back. But if history shows us anything it is likely that the club will look at options without purchasing anyone.
There are several options out there, but fans will have to wait and see if La Blaugrana is truly committed to fixing the defense.
As far as this summer is concerned, Barcelona failed and their unwillingness to address the center-back problem will come back to haunt them. But maybe that is exactly what the club needs to finally fix the problem.
Will Barcelona addressed the center-back problem in January? If the club does look to sign someone then who? Leave your thoughts and comments below!
Tre' Atkinson. Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on Barcelona and all Spanish football!
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?