7 moves Barcelona need to make in January transfer window
Remember when Ernesto Valverde was the problem at Barcelona?
We are fast approaching the first anniversary of the Blaugrana’s decision to sack the unpopular coach, despite the Catalan side sitting at the top of the table when they pulled the trigger.
They would continue to lose the title race to Real Madrid, be forced to sell a bunch of players at a ridiculously reduced price and implode so dramatically that legend Lionel Messi decided he had had enough.
If they weren’t happy with the state of the club in January 2020, I dread to think about what the board will do with the current mess as the new year approaches. Barca are well behind at the top of La Liga and having won just seven of their 14 league games, he has no illusions that he has to use the defibrillator in his flatlining season.
The first month of the year is, however, an opportunity for reflection and contemplation, and thanks to the winter window, it is also an opportunity for redemption.
But what tasks do they need to tackle in January? 90 mins deals with the key moves the Catalans need to make in the January transfer window.
Now I won’t be the one to say Barcelona should get rid of Messi because frankly I’m not an idiot. He may not be in his prime and his grip on games might wane, but allowing the most influential player in his history to simply walk away would be a disaster.
Messi still has love for Barca and deep, Deep down, he would be happy to see his final years at Camp Nou – hopefully signing him with one final Champions League trophy.
Then it’s the board’s job to convince him that there is a project in place that is worth sticking around, and to dig deep to pay the world’s greatest player what he deserves. Just do it.
I know, I can’t believe I have to write this either. Barcelona are in talks with Arsenal flop Shkodran Mustafi to bolster their leaky defense. Separately, they also hired Bonnie and Clyde to take care of the club’s bank accounts.
The Blaugrana need another center-back to come and cover their current crippling injury crisis, while ultimately offering some competition to their regular starters. But they absolutely, categorically, unquestionably, unquestionably DO NOT need to sign Mustafi.
Like, seriously, have their scouts been in a coma for four years? I’m giving up, man.
As mentioned, Barca are in desperate need of defensive cover and cover that is not as useless as an ashtray on a motorcycle. They have long been linked with a move for youngster Eric Garcia from Manchester City, and the player himself has apparently given the green light to any potential deal.
Is it enough to solve all their problems? Absolutely not. The Spaniard has not proven himself as a ready-made starter for a big club, and he may need some time to readjust to life in Catalonia.
So by all means go get Garcia – but don’t stop there. Buy another defender. Buy a Dayot Upamecano. Buy a Milan Skriniar or an Alessandro Bastoni. Do not buy Shkodran Mustafi.
It says a lot about Barcelona’s current fate as last season’s emergency signing Martin Braithwaite, who joined after the window was closed due to an injury crisis, still has playing time at the club. .
His signing was one of desperation, at a time when it was impossible to sign someone of genuine quality. Instead of tackling this problem this summer, Barca have weakened their frontline further by selling Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid.
A good shot is therefore necessary for the goals to rain again on Camp Nou. Finding a regular goalscorer is one of the hardest things to do in football, and if their scouts are too enlightened With their offensive and defensive targets, Barça could end up with Euro 2016 hero Sam Vokes in the lead.
In 2018, Antoine Griezmann released “The Decision”, a video explaining his choice not to leave Atleti. In 2019, he was banned from creating “The Decision 2”, in which he wanted to announce his departure from the Spanish capital.
It is time for Barcelona to take “Decision 3”. Griezmann has rarely integrated into this Blaugrana squad, putting the nose of extraordinary teammates in all positions on the front line. Now coach Ronald Koeman has apparently found a 3-4-3 system that works for a select group of players – and the Frenchman is not one of them.
The club can’t afford to allow someone of Griezmann’s stature and salary to rot on the bench, and if they could use that as a bargaining chip in a potential deal with … oh, I won’t dunno… Paris Saint-Germain (?), To try and re-sign… say, Neymar – well, that would be a good deal in every way, wouldn’t it?
Much like Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho’s time in Catalonia has been downright miserable – aside from his Champions League medal with Bayern last season, of course. I’m not sure this counts as a success at Barca.
Koeman is determined to bring youth into the lineup, and that selection left the Brazilian star playing second fiddle to young and precocious Pedri.
And according to Sport, Barcelona will be forced to pay Liverpool an additional £ 18million when Coutinho reaches 100 appearances for the club. Now sitting 10 games away from that number, they have to think long and hard about whether to persist with the midfielder or cut their losses before they cough up more money. It’s time to get some money back.
One of the major difficulties in Barca’s recent history is their inability to replace the club’s legends with worthy successors. But here’s a tip you can’t miss: Jose Gaya is the perfect man to succeed Jordi Alba.
Alba left his tip in the rearview mirror, and he even lost his starting place in the Spanish national team to Valencia star Gaya.
Los Murcielagos have had a fire sale of their hottest talents this summer, and Barcelona have to imagine their chances of picking up La Liga’s best left-back for a very low price.