Who Else Do Barcelona Need to Sign in the Summer Transfer Window?

Rik SharmaFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2014

One of Paul Pogba or Arturo Vidal wouldn't be bad.
One of Paul Pogba or Arturo Vidal wouldn't be bad.Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Barcelona have splashed the cash in the transfer window so far, picking up Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Jeremy Mathieu and more, but there's still work to do.

We always knew the squad was in line for a full overhaul this summer after last year's disappointment.

Several players have made way too, with Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez and Carles Puyol some of the bigger names that won't be turning out for the Blaugrana next season.

All three goalkeepers left, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo and Jordi Masip replacing Victor Valdes, Jose Manuel Pinto and Oier Olazabal.

The signing of Mathieu goes some way to patching up the defence that looked weak last season and that has depreciated further with Puyol's retirement.

Jeremy Mathieu has joined the squad.
Jeremy Mathieu has joined the squad.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

However, they could still do with an additional centre-back.

Theoretically, they have enough players to last the season there, with Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra and Mathieu all in contention for a starting spot, and Javier Mascherano also able to play adequately in the position.

However, they could still do with a world-class star to dominate the back line. At the moment there are no truly reliable characters in the defence.

Pique made several errors last season and needs a steadying influence beside him.

Bartra could become this player but at the moment is still young, and it's uncertain if he'll be first choice for Luis Enrique.

Mathieu has the experience, but it remains to be seen whether he can handle the pressure of playing for a side like Barcelona.

Puyol, now an assistant to sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, admitted that it is difficult to find defenders that suit Barcelona's profile.

He told FIFA, per Sport:

We have time to search for defenders, but half of Europe are looking so it's not easy. And less still for us, because of our style of play. To play for Barcelona you need quality, to be good with the ball, must be fast, and defend well high up the pitch, because when you look back and see so much space you can get dizzy.

There have been plenty of names suggested, including Marquinhos and Daley Blind. While both these players would add quality, they are relatively inexperienced.

The club also have a long-standing interested in Juan Guillermo Cuadrado.

Juan Cuadrado has been touted.
Juan Cuadrado has been touted.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Fiorentina's flying right-winger is being touted as an option, with Sport saying only Manchester United stand between Barcelona and the Colombia World Cup star.

However, if Dani Alves stays, signing Cuadrado is not necessary. He is a fine player, but not a right-back, which is where Barcelona would try to fit him in.

There is the possibility of changing formation, but for that they would need to sign an extra central defender.

Barcelona could, with a new centre-back, play 3-5-2, which would work in a variety of ways.

They would be more solid defensively, with the extra central defender, and Jordi Alba and Alves or Cuadrado providing support on the flanks.

Signing a new centre-back like Marquinhos would be good.
Signing a new centre-back like Marquinhos would be good.Jacques Brinon/Associated Press

In midfield they would have the width those two provide, which would allow them to play two strikers, in Neymar and Luis Suarez, and have Lionel Messi tucked in behind at the tip of the midfield.

Then, two of three out of Rakitic, Mascherano and Sergio Busquets would complete a formidable side.

One other area that could do with improvement is the central midfield.

A rampaging midfielder would fit nicely in any formation Barcelona wanted to play, someone like former Barca star Yaya Toure, Juventus' Arturo Vidal or Paul Pogba.

However, with Xavi poised to stay at the club for now, adding a big-money midfielder may be a bridge too far for the board.