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Barcelona halfway report: Forwards

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Who else aside from Messi as shined up front?

Barcelona v Deportivo La Coruna - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Luis Suárez


Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Games Played Games Started Shots Conversion Rate Total Passes Pass Accuracy Passes per Game Fouls Won Yellow Cards Goals Assists Your Rating Sam's Rating
14 14 42 23.8% 432 75.5% 30.9 21 3 10 1 8 8

Luis Suárez’s season can be cut in to two halves, well maybe into thirds. The first two thirds, he was dreadful. Seemingly shot of confidence and lacking the familiarity of Neymar, Suárez form was poor in the opening stages. Continually offside and when he did manage to make a legal chance, he fluffed it.

There were questions over whether Suárez would ever get back to the form he once had but the latter third of this first half of the season has shown a resurgence. Four goals in his last three games including a goal in the Clásico are hopefully blueprints for the future. With the expected arrival of Antoine Greizmann and the return to fitness for Ousmane Dembélé, Suárez needs to be back at his best if he is to keep his place in the team.


Paco Alcácer


FC Barcelona v Sporting CP - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images
Games Played Games Started Shots Conversion Rate Total Passes Pass Accuracy Passes per Game Fouls Won Yellow Cards Goals Assists Your Rating Sam's Rating
8 4 8 25% 102 78.4% 12.8 4 0 2 2 7 7

An able deputy from the bench, Alcácer has proven he does have a place in this team. With Suárez’s goalscoring trouble of earlier in the season, it was important that Barça had goals coming from the bench and Alcácer has provided that. Will he always be happy with a place on the bench? Time will tell but for now he is well worth his place in the squad.


Ousmane Dembélé


Barcelona v Espanyol - La Liga Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images
Games Played Games Started Shots Conversion Rate Total Passes Pass Accuracy Passes per Game Fouls Won Yellow Cards Goals Assists Your Rating Sam's Rating
2 1 0 N/A 17 88.2% 8.5 0 0 0 1 7 7

Struck down by a hamstring injury in only his second league game, Dembélé has yet to show his true potential in a Barcelona shirt. Still, there were encouraging signs during his brief cameo and with the player scheduled to return soon he may bring a much needed width and balance to the side.


Gerard Deulofeu


Getafe v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Games Played Games Started Shots Conversion Rate Total Passes Pass Accuracy Passes per Game Fouls Won Yellow Cards Goals Assists Your Rating Sam's Rating
9 5 1 20% 270 80.7% 30 4 1 1 1 6 6

A disappointing return for Deulofeu on his return to the Camp Nou. After a few starts, he has been limited to substitute appearances and looks out of his depth when featuring. Plenty of pace but lack of an effective final ball has made Valverde look elsewhere.


Lionel Messi


Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Games Played Games Started Shots Conversion Rate Total Passes Pass Accuracy Passes per Game Fouls Won Yellow Cards Goals Assists Your Rating Sam's Rating
17 17 83 18.1% 973 80.7% 57.2 37 1 15 6 10 10

What can you write about Messi that hasn’t already been written? In a previous article, I spoke of how Messi has gone up another level. His role in the team is more important than ever. Every aspect of Barcelona’s game runs through him and he has taken that burden and excelled with it. The top goalscorer (who could have had a lot more if it wasn’t for the post), the top assister and the man all of his teammates look for.

At a time when Barcelona were in crisis due to the embarrassing nature of Neymar’s departure, Messi has remained undeterred. Offered far more tempting offers from abroad, he has stayed and carried this team to the top of the league. Barcelona now find themselves in a tricky situation, look to involve other players and ease the load on Messi or continue to rely on the Argentine’s brilliance?


Forward of the season so far


Messi (98.1%)