The upcoming days will provide football fans and FC Barcelona fans in particular with excitement and enthusiasm. First of all, there is the World Cup which will captivate our (football) hearts for just over a month and the elections which determine who is going to be the next President of FC Barcelona.
As it is common knowledge, the values of players will almost certain skyrocket if the players have a good tournament. More often than not Clubs tend to pay over the odds for a player who reveal himself to be a certified dud. Prime examples for this are: El Hadji Diouf, Milan Baros and countless others.
And by putting this knowledge in to context I’d argue it has been good business to bring in David Villa BEFORE the world cup. Because of the ridiculously talented midfield Spain calls its own it’s hard to look pass El Guaje gunning for the Golden Boot. His price would’ve been reasonably higher than the 40 million Euro the Blaugrana paid for him.
Meanwhile FC Barcelona are linked with each and every name that is thought to have a break-out tournament.
Pre World Cup
Gregory Van Der Wiel
One of those is Ajax Amsterdam’s right-back Gregory Van Der Wiel whose price stands at around 12 million Euro. Depending on his performances it could be a steal to buy him now since nobody has shown real interest in the player. 12 million Euro isn’t exactly a bargain but Pep blew much more on say Martin Caceres and Dymytro Chygrynsky (if reports are to be believed 16 and 24 million Euro respectively). Dani Alves is an invaluable key component in the Blaugrana attack and his absence is usually more felt than say Ibrahimovic. Van Der Wiel is young, has potential and shouldn’t have any problems adjusting to the Barcelona way of play since he graduated from the famous Ajax Academy where they don’t play anything else but 4-3-3.
Verdict: Needs to be bought
Another candidate that has been linked to FC Barcelona on more than one occasion is the Brazilian troublemaker Robinho. According to media reports a swap deal with Ibrahimovic going the other way plus cash is in the cards. On his day the little Brazilian is a world beater but on every other he is just physically present.
Pros: FC Barcelona would get rid of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he is still young, has resell value and can play as a Left-Winger and should have no problem adjusting to La Liga.
Cons: he is a certified troublemaker, not consistent enough and has the tag of a mercenary.
Verdict: Depending on his performances in the World Cup I’d say let’s give it a shot. If it helps getting rid of Ibrahimovic why not? In the worst case Barca could sell him the next summer.
And the one we all have been waiting for…Cesc Fabregas
Not much needs to be said or written about the Arsenal Captain. At 23 already Captain of one of the biggest Clubs in the world, the young Catalan is undoubtedly one of the finest players in his position. As a midfielder he shouldn’t enter his peak until he is 26,27 and the fact that he is so unbelievably good right now – the prospect is frightening. Adding to that is his huge marketability, Nike would get a massive boost in sales and could promote the Barca brand even further, something that has been missing for a while since Lionel Messi is tied up in Adidas and Ibra isn’t really that popular.
Does FC Barcelona need Cesc Fabregas – Yes. Why is that?
Because Andres Iniesta for all his God-given talent tends to miss 2-3 months of the season on a regular basis. Just to prove a point - if latest reports are correct he could miss Spain’s opening game. His absence against Inter Milan was sorely felt and to prevent this from happening again the Blaugrana need Cesc. And even though Xavi is rewriting the books on how to play as a central midfielder, at 30 he doesn’t get any younger. Fabregas would be his natural successor as Thiago Alcantara seems to be for Andres Iniesta.
Verdict: Not much needs to be said here since it is obvious Laporta is pushing hard for Cesc to finally come home.
Notably absentees: Javier Mascherano and Juan Mata.
On Mascherano: Liverpool’s uncertain economic situation could force them to sell one of their prized assets. It could be either him, Steven Gerrard or Fernando Torres. Assuming that Fernando Torres would generate the most interest and therefore highest transfer fee it’s hard to see the other two (Mascherano, Gerrard) leave. If Torres leaves Anfield his teammates will stay put.
On the other hand if either Mascherano or Gerrard leave there could still be a possibility that the other (Mascherano or Gerrard) will follow suit. But it all depends on Fernando Torres.
On Juan Mata: If David Silva goes he’ll stay put.