While there has been plenty of talk surrounding the depth of Barcelona’s defense, or lack thereof, many have suggested players they think would fill the defensive gaps, and be infinitely better than professional slow-coach, Andreu Fontas.
I figured I might as well throw my two cents in there, so here are my potential targets for Guardiola.
Schennikov is left-back for CSKA Moscow, and his arrival would be as a back-up to Adriano, while Abidal would make his switch to centre-back permanent. A regular for club and country (at Under-21 level) he is an attacking full-back with a phenomenal work-rate, not dissimilar to Dani Alves. A self-proclaimed Arsenal fan, perhaps he would prefer the sunnier climes of Barcelona?
Potential pitfalls for a deal would include the fact that he is currently injured, and expected to be out until early September, and there are apparently plenty of clubs lining up for his signature, most notably Liverpool and Villarreal.
Currently of Montpellier, Mbiwa is primarily a centre-back, but has been known to play the occasional game at right-back. The Next Puyol???
Tenuous links aside, he is a fine defender, and very athletic, something Fontas can only aspire to be. Not only that, but he is fairly calm in possession, which is of course paramount for any Barca defender. Despite being labelled "The next Gallas" I am optimistic for his future.
Again, there are obstacles in the way. One can assume that he would cost near £10 million, a sum Barcelona are unlikely to pay, and with Arsenal and Bayern Munich also interested, it might be best for Barca to escape a bidding war.
Not that I want Jeffren to fail at Sporting Lisbon, I just want Barca to raid them for their captain, and best player...
Carrico is a regular for Portugal Under-21’s and of course, for Sporting. A centre-back by trade, he is also capable of playing in defensive midfield mainly because of his distribution, and technique. The more I think about the Blaugrana signing Carrico, the better it gets, but again, a transfer is unlikely.
Manchester City would oppose any move, and no-one wants to get into a bidding war with them, so one can assume a move is out of the picture.
Sure, it would be interesting to see how he would get on with Iniesta, after that incident at the World Cup, but Heitinga could be a smart signing by Barcelona. He constantly says that he wants to play in Europe, and more specifically the Champions League, so a move would suit both parties.
Schooled by Ajax, he knows how to play football, but his time in England has benefitted him, much like it did to a certain Gerard Pique. Heitinga could push Puyol for a starting place, and would allow Abidal to continue at full-back.
However, he was not the best during his time at Atletico, and while I have seen plenty of him since then, and he has notably improved, I could see him being a failure, especially as Barcelona defenders need to be highly focused.
Another Eastern European defender, he is a centre-back, but can fill in pretty much anywhere in defense. Come to think of it, he fits every requirement that Barca are looking for!
Composed on the ball? Check.
Perhaps that explains why Barcelona were actively linked with him.
Like massive flop Chygrynskiy, he plays for Shakhtar, but from what I have seen, he is the polar opposite of his team mate. He is not that tall, actually has pace, and as I mentioned before, he is comfortable in possession. A bid of £10 million would be enough to secure his services, but with that Catalan bloke on Rosell’s agenda, it seems unlikely that Rakitskiy will be joining anytime soon.
Linked most recently with Arsenal, Mertesacker is a man-mountain of a defender, but perhaps that is what Barcelona need? In the absence of Puyol, they lack someone who is safety first, or who goes by my motto, "If in doubt, clout it out".
Currently contracted to Werder Bremen, he is an automatic starter for Germany, and despite his relative youth (26), is the proud owner of 75 (!) caps. If that’s not good enough for Barca, I don’t know what is.
However, he is fairly slow, which is our main concern with Fontas, and of course a bid for the big German would probably force Arsenal’s hand, and well, by default Barca would be in the wrong...
The personal favourite of our Editor-in-Chief, Hummels is one of the best young defenders in Europe, so surely it’s a no-brainer? Well, first off, Puyol is an automatic starter, as is Pique, meaning that Hummels would have to sit on the bench. Something tells me he would object to that.
Also, he comes with a hefty pricetag, and after his performances last year, Barca would not be the only club vying for his signature. That being said, Fabregas appears to be a no-go, and that could lead to a change of heart from Guardiola. Could he use that money on a top-class centre-half?
Well, Sebastian hopes so!
Yes, he is an Argentine, and after the Copa America it’s hard to trust any South American defender outside of Uruguay, but he fits the bill perfectly. A good passer of the ball, and a solid defender, he would be great for Barcelona, though Porto would be reluctant to sell.
It’s hard to see him signing for Barcelona, though the same can be said for any of the above, especially with Pep’s recent comments. He trust the B team players, and despite our qualms with Fontas, Marc Bartra is a solid defender, Muniesa is still a great prospect, and Sergi Gomez looks pretty good. But in the case of injury, the Blaugrana are short on cover in defense, just a question of whether they act upon that.
Visca el Barca!
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