FC Barcelona have gone from being regarded as a leaky team in the defensive third to now boasting of an elite back-line. The 27th League in the club’s history was won, owing to the defense’s newfound consistency as well as the resurgence of Marc-André ter Stegen.
Even so, Xavi Hernández’s team wants to push themselves even farther in terms of competition, which can only be accomplished by effectively availing the transfer window.
Following Sergio Busquets’ departure, the Catalans are eager to quickly resolve the issue of his replacement. Barcelona are likely to recruit an elite option, given how frequently Xavi has spoken of the need for a top-class defensive midfielder. In addition to the DM dilemma, the possible return of Leo Messi remains an undeniable target.
When it comes to the defensive side of things, there are more answers than uncertainties. Despite Alba’s exit, Xavi explained that Balde and Marcos Alonso will be the only competitors for the left-hand side, while Kounde’s recent drama fueled by the media appears to have toned down.
According to SPORT, only two real quandaries exist at the back. Firstly the issue of Eric Garcia is one that lures attention as the Catalan continues to be demoted in the pecking order.
Considering Inigo Martinez’s arrival and the authority of the starting center-backs, Garcia is likely to be the 5th choice center-back next season, which is a huge drop for a player who played 1000 minutes fewer than his first season at the club.
Eric Garcia has definitive struggles if he wants to rise above the competition at center-back. As is the case with any youngster, play time is needed to grow. If the Spaniard is not relied upon as a substitute defensive midfielder, the plausibility of leaving on loan or even a transfer may be on the cards.
The other uncertainty in the back line exists at the right-back spot. Currently, Sergi Roberto is Barca’s only natural RB and even he is a makeshift full-back, who prefers to play in midfield.
Kounde’s uneasiness playing in that position has been well documented, while Araújo is merely a reliable safety net against tricky wingers. The absence of a specialist does hurt Barca’s prospects.
Upon La Liga’s verdict on the Viability Plan and once the restrictions of financial fair play are known, only then Barcelona will be able to recognize the profiles they can really target.
The ‘dance’ of names for the right lane has already begun. Joao Cancelo, Benjamin Pavard, Juan Foyth, and Thomas Meunier are some of the top candidates in the race to reinforce a very important position. Even so, the arrival of a right-back will be dependent on how well Barca fares in the attempt to sell unneeded players.