FC Barcelona Transfer Talk: 5 Dribbling Wingers Who'd Improve Barça Tactically

Andres Ehrli@@ehrliCorrespondent IIIJuly 15, 2011

FC Barcelona Transfer Talk: 5 Dribbling Wingers Who'd Improve Barça Tactically

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    Barça has one of the best squads in the world, but Pep Guardiola still needs to add a dribbler on the wing to have another tactical resource at his disposal. 

    What he needs is a winger that can get past his man on the side and unbalance the defensive setups sometimes Barcelona faces week in and week out. 

    This while also getting a player with the Blaugrana tiki-taka qualities of great technique and passing skills, as well as the sacrifice on the defensive side of the ball and when pressing forward.

    In this slideshow we will simply name five options that could fit the bill as the dribbling forward for the Culés, 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 be considering all of them).

    Author's note: This is the first article in my series that talks about the Role Players Who'd Improve Barça Tactically, so expect to see my other slide-shows on this subject soon. 

5. Neymar

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    Age: 19

    Nationality: Brazil

    Height: 1.74

    Team: Santos Futebol Clube

    Transfer Market Value: €25 million

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

    Why he fits:

    Neymar's one of the most talented players in the World not named Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. 

    And he's Brazil's and Nike's new star.

    That said, what he has in raw talent, he lacks in everything else. 

    He doesn't have the mentality to play in Europe, he has zero ability to play both offensively and defensively when the ball isn't on his feet, and he has serious physique issues when facing stronger defenders. 

    So while the raw talent is desirable, everything else isn't as good. 

    Transfer Value:

    Paying €45 million plus for a player with no real experience and that needs lots of coaching to become the player his talents say he will become is absolutely crazy. 

    Overall Improvement Grade:  C - 

    He has the talent, but at that price... thanks, but no thanks. 

4. Eden Hazard

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    Age: 20

    Nationality: France

    Height: 1.70

    Team: OSC Lille

    Transfer Market Value: €22.5 million

    Won't be sold for less than: €40 million

    Why he fits:

    Lille's Belgian wonder-kind and Zidane's protege, Eden Hazard is actually more like a young Lio Messi than a pure number "10" like Zinedine. 

    In the Barcelona mimicking Lille side, Hazard actually plays in Messi's old Blaugrana role. 

    He's a fantastic dribbler coming put of the wing and is more of a passer than a goalscorer, having 15 passes for goals to his 12 scores this season. 

    With Barça he could replicate Messi's old sprints from the right wing, and could also play the "false 9" position the Argentinian likes to play in nowadays. 

    Transfer Value:

    Paying €40 million is a bit on the steep side, but Eden's similarities with Messi would certainly be worth Barça's money. 

    Overall Improvement Grade:  C

    Eden is a great player, but at that price, his transfer loses some of its real value. 

3. Diego Ribas

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    Age: 26

    Nationality: Brazil

    Height: 1.73

    Team: VfL Wolfsburg

    Transfer Market Value: €12 million

    Won't be sold for less than: €20 million

    Why he fits:

    Diego Ribas has all the talent in the World. He can pass, he can dribble and he can score. But he just can't get his head to perform up to the same level.

    He's a very far way off from when he was considered "The next Pelé" when he played alongside Robinho in Santos, but if he can pull his act together, he has all the tools to be successful not only with Barcelona, but with any top team in Europe.

    Granted, he is more of an offensive midfielder that likes to play in the hole, but so were Ronaldinho and Rivaldo and they flourished on the wings for Barça.

    Transfer Value:

    He shouldn't cost more than €20 million and he wants out of Germany desperately after he got fined €500,000 for his poor attitude. At the most you would be paying €30 million for a player that really has it all to be one of the best in the world. 

    Overall Improvement Grade:  C+

    He would have to change positions and has character red flags all over him, but still could be a move worth making. 

2. Alexis Sánchez

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    Age: 22

    Nationality: Chile

    Height: 1.68

    Team: Udinese Calcio

    Transfer Market Value: €25 million

    Won't be sold for less than: €40 million

    Why he fits:

    When talking about 1 on 1 dribbling, Alexis Sanchez is up there with the best in the World.

    However, he's just not as deadly as he's advertised. 10 goals and 11 assists is average at best for a player that's supposedly valued at €40 million.

    But he is hard working, and actually likes to pass the ball (a rare quality for a winger with his skill-set), so if what you're looking for is a dribbler, Alexis is good bet. 

    Transfer Value:

    He's overrated at €40 million. He just doesn't perform as well as advertised by his price-tag.

    Overall Improvement Grade:  B

    But when talking about pure dribbling and shaking people off, Alexis' talents are hard to match. It's also nice that he passes the ball enthusiastically and participates in defensive duties.

1. Nani

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    Age: 24

    Nationality: Portugal

    Height: 1.76

    Team: Manchester United

    Transfer Market Value: €28 million

    Won't be sold for less than: €35 million

    Why he fits:

    Nani had 20 assists and 12 goals for Manchester United last season. As you can see he's the only proven winger on this list. 

    Added to this, he's a bench-warmer for the Red Devils who prefer Park Ji-Sung and Antonio Valencia over the Portugal trickster. And on top of that, they've signed Ashley Young for €20 million.

    He's the winger I'd be looking for right now. He has the dribbling skills, he is a natural goal passer. And as an added bonus, he's a better free-kick taker than anyone at Barcelona. 

    He could improve on his defensive effort. But that's about it for Nani. 

    Transfer Value:

    I'm sure €35 million would seal his exit for Sir Alex Ferguson. Something tells me you could even get him for a bit cheaper. 

    Overall Improvement Grade:  B+

    Nani is the best winger on the market right now. He's proven, and he's not wanted. A terrific combination for one of the World's best wingers. 

    He might not have the upside other candidates on this list might have. But he's as sure a bet as you might get this summer on the transfer window.