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The Importance of Buying the Best - Or Why Barcelona Should Prioritize Marco Verratti

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Sometimes it’s better to have one amazing player rather than several very good ones

Italy v Albania - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Barcelona are trying their best to lure Paris Saint-Germain star Marco Verratti away from the French club and into their starting XI alongside their world class talents such as Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Sergio Busquets.

Of course, there’s a point where any player becomes too expensive. And PSG may only budge when an offer exceeds the point where it is still rational to make the purchase.

But Barcelona should make every effort and spend every cent it realistically can afford to get Verratti. Why? Simple: because there aren’t many midfielders better or who fit the team better.

When you’re a team aiming to be the best, it’s better to overspend a bit rather than try to be cheap and end up spending on players that don’t measure up. “Very good” is not an acceptable standard for Barcelona anymore. Sure, it’s risky, but Verratti is young and if worse comes to worst, his resell value will be substantial. Buying a collection of good to very good players can help depth, but it has its own risk, especially as it means adapting a lot of players at once.

The Catalans should look to La Masia to round out the squad as often as possible, buying rotation pieces only when necessary. The bulk of the spending should be for players the academy cannot reliably produce - the likes of Neymar or Luis Suarez.

Last season, Robert Fernandez gambled on middle-range players such as Paco Alcacer and Andre Gomes. They’re not superstars but they’re not bargain buys either. Of course, they are young, so it’s too early to completely write them off. But for similar money you can start paying for a real star. Instead we have two pieces we’re not really sure about.

At the end of the day, Barcelona are in the business of being the very best like no one ever was, not in being close to the best. That means, on occasion, buying the best.

Now, don’t get me wrong, buying a collection of amazing players just because they are individually great is not an efficient policy either. However, if you judiciously pick players that fit into the team and into what the coach wants to do, you can vastly improve the squad.

That description, to me, fits Verratti.