Not a week seems to go by without discussions on Barca’s continuing issues at right-back.
Although both Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde have spent time there along with Sergi Roberto, the trio’s natural positions are elsewhere in the Catalan side’s XI.
With Alejandro Balde making huge strides this season in the left-back slot - and also on the right on occasion - it would be a real boon for Xavi to be able to supplement his defence with a decent player whose main position is on the right side of a back four.
It isn’t a coincidence that a lot of Barca’s success in the ‘Messi years’ came as a result of first-class service from the flanks, courtesy of Messrs. Alba and Alves.
Even Sergi Roberto managed a passable effort in recent years. However, the time has come to stop putting square pegs in round holes.
Sergino Dest, for all of his endeavour and work-rate, just isn’t Barca class. If he’s able to be shipped out permanently, that would be the best for all concerned at this juncture.
Indeed, Xavi and Joan Laporta need to get employment of their future right-back signed, sealed and delivered as a matter of urgency.
A move for Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard may have to wait until the summer, though, given he’s out of contract in 2024, the Blaugranes would hold the aces in any deal getting over the line.
Various outlets have mooted a transfer fee of around the €15m mark, which for a player who has vast experience in the top European leagues, is a World Cup winner and will only be 27 this summer and theoretically in his pomp, is an absolute steal.
Perhaps not a ‘headline grabber,’ Pavard is nonetheless a solid exponent of the defensive art, and a player who loves getting forward at every opportunity.
A fierce competitor, opponents need to be at the top of their game if they want to get the better of him.
He keeps possession well and has a wonderful passing range, though he clearly excels in and enjoys the short, sharp passing game that is Barca’s signature style.
Strong in the air when called upon, he will never shirk a tackle, with his relatively poor disciplinary record being the one area that could be improved.
If the opportunity arises and Pavard becomes a viable option, Barcelona really need to be at the head of the queue.