It’s often said that the best title-winning sides are built on a solid defence.
Goals win games of course, and there’s plenty of strikers willing and able to cash in on a regular basis.
Finding central defenders of the highest quality is becoming increasingly difficult, however.
Barca are a perfect example of that.
Clement Lenglet has lost his mojo and isn’t likely to be anywhere close to the player the club signed again.
Samuel Umtiti? Incredible to think that he was once, deservedly, in the elite bracket.
Gerard Pique remains the consummate professional but Old Father Time is fast catching up with him, whilst the jury is still out on Eric Garcia and more so on Oscar Mingueza.
With all of that in mind, it was vital that the club were able to secure Ronald Araujo for the long term.
The Uruguayan colossus has been a beacon of hope in a couple of seasons that has left a lot to be desired.
That he evidently never wanted to go anywhere else bodes well for the future of the club, and almost certainly puts him in line to become a team captain sooner rather than later.
He still has much to learn of course, but he is that rare breed of defender that has it all. His particular set of skills need only a little refinement in certain areas.
At just 23 years of age, there is plenty of time for development, and it’s surely not difficult to imagine him to be as important for the Blaugranes in time as Virgil van Dijk is for Liverpool at the present moment.
Rarely dribbled past, both players are quick across ground, positionally sound for the most part, great distributors of the ball, excellent in the air in both a defensive and attacking sense and can bring the ball out of the back line with ease.
Make no mistake, the Uruguayan will be the bedrock of Barcelona’s defence for years to come.
It’s also another superb piece of business from the board, and that shouldn’t go unnoticed either.
The building blocks are astutely being put in place and, as we move forward from the seemingly never-ending debacle of the Josep Maria Bartomeu presidency, the long term health of the club seems assured.
If they can find a defensive partner for Araujo of equal value in a footballing rather than financial sense, don’t be surprised to see silverware quickly return to the trophy cabinet.