FC Barcelona Transfer Talk: 5 Attacking Left-Backs Who'd Improve Barça

Andres Ehrli@@ehrliCorrespondent IIIAugust 1, 2011

FC Barcelona Transfer Talk: 5 Attacking Left-Backs Who'd Improve Barça

0 of 5

    Barça has one of the best squads in the world, but Pep Guardiola is still missing an attacking left back.

    Adriano and Maxwell are capable subs, but they aren't the world-class back Dani Alves is on the right side. And they're not particularly amazing at defending like Abidal, either. 

    That said, Barcelona could be easily improved on the left flank with a bombing left-back. 

    In this slideshow, we will simply name five options that could fit the bill as good left-backs for the Blaugrana, with no regard whatsoever to whether or not Pep, Rossell and company actually have them on their sights as potential signings (even though they probably should).

    Author's note: This will be the third slideshow in my series of the Role Players Who'd Improve Barça Tactically, so expect to see other slideshows on this subject soon. 

    If you want to take a look at the other two slideshows in this series, here they are: 5 Dribbling Wingers Who'd Improve Barça Tactically and 5 Post Forwards Who'd Improve Barça Tactically.  

5. Leighton Baines (Everton)

1 of 5

    Age: 26

    Nationality: England

    Height: 1.70

    Team: Everton FC

    Transfer Market Value: €15 million

    Won't be sold for less than: €25 million

    Why he fits:

    Is Baines England's best left-back right now?

    I still think Ashley Cole is better overall, but when picking one for Barcelona I'd go with Leighton.

    He is a fantastic crosser and is dangerous every time he runs forward.

    In other words: just what Barça needs. 

    Transfer Value:

    Given how the transfer market is working for English players, they'd need €25 million or more to get Baines out of Everton. He's good, but he's not THAT good. 

    Overall Improvement Grade:  C

    A better player than Adriano and Maxwell, but not worth the transfer price he would command. 

4. Nadir Belhadj (Al Sadd)

2 of 5

    Age: 29

    Nationality: Algeria

    Height: 1.76

    Team: Al Sadd

    Transfer Market Value: €4 million

    Won't be sold for less than: €7.5 million

    Why he fits:

    Belhadj just loves going forward. He was fantastic both with Algeria in the 2010 World Cup and with Portsmouth before that.

    His offensive presence on the left is always felt, and his dribbling skills and pace are big reason why he's so dangerous. 

    His defensive skills are average at best, but like Dani Alves, if he does his pressing job right, that won't matter at Barça. 

    Transfer Value:

    €7.5 million (or more) and a hefty contract could be needed to take him out of Qatar. And at 29, he's not getting any younger.

    Overall Improvement Grade:  B-

    Cost wise, a very good move for short-term improvement. But his age doesn't help Belhadj out here.

3. Gareth Bale (Tottenham)

3 of 5

    Age: 22

    Nationality: Wales

    Height: 1.83

    Team: Tottenham Hotspur

    Transfer Market Value: €30 million

    Won't be sold for less than: €45 million

    Why he fits:

    Judging talent alone, Bale was born to play left back for Barcelona.

    Just imagining him speeding his way past Pedro and Villa like Alves does on the other side gives me goosebumps.

    Bale has it all: speed, dribbling skills and fantastic pressing skills.

    And as for his supposed lack of defending skills, like Alves, if he does his offensive pressing job right, that won't show at all.

    My major concern with him would be that he's prone to injury.

    And...

    Transfer Value:

    It's quite simple: no offer under €45 million would even be considered by the Spurs.

    Overall Improvement Grade:  B

    Talent-wise, a no-brainer A+. But given the stupidly high transfer price you'd have to pay for Gareth, his viability takes a serious hit. 

2. Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund)

4 of 5

    Age: 23

    Nationality: Germany

    Height: 1.81

    Team: Borussia Dortmund

    Transfer Market Value: €10 million

    Won't be sold for less than: €15 million

    Why he fits:

    Marcel Schmelzer is a very similar player to Philip Lahm.

    And that's a good thing.

    His attacking runs with Dortmund have already earned him a call up to the German National Team, so it's fair to say he's fit to play in a top team like Barcelona too.

    He has the speed and the scrappiness to be just as annoying as Dani Alves on the right.  

    Transfer Value:

    An offer around €15 million should be enough to get the German.

    Overall Improvement Grade:  B+

    Marcel is young, cheap, and very good. That's a fantastic combination if you ask me. 

1. Yuri Zhirkov (Chelsea)

5 of 5

    Age: 27

    Nationality: Russia

    Height: 1.78

    Team: Chelsea

    Transfer Market Value: €10 million

    Won't be sold for less than: €15 million

    Why he fits:

    Zhirkov was heavily linked with Barcelona after his fantastic 2008 Euro, but he prefered to join Chelsea instead. 

    With the Blues he has been used sparingly, and I'm sure he regrets not taking the Barca alternative more seriously.

    He's a fantastic dribbler, and loves to play offensive football, so I'm asbolutely sure that as a left-back at the Camp Nou, Zhirkov would thrive and would be just as good as Dani Alves on the other wing.

    If it were for me, I'd be trying to get him. Badly. 

    Transfer Value:

    An offer around €15 million should be enough to get the Russian out of Chelsea. 

    Overall Improvement Grade:  A+

    Good price, fantastic player, and even better fit. I'd go to London to get him tomorrow if I were Pep Guardiola or Sandro Rosell.

    Sadly, I'm not.

    If you want to take a look at the other two slideshows in this series, here they are: 5 Dribbling Wingers Who'd Improve Barça Tactically and 5 Post Forwards Who'd Improve Barça Tactically.

    Follow me on Twitter @ehrli

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.


X