Barcelona fans have been left rubbing their eyes at the performances of Paco Alcacer who continued his red-hot goalscoring form with a double for Spain against Wales on Thursday.
The striker now has nine goals for the season in just 244 minutes of action. That’s a goal ever 27 minutes, a phenomenal strike rate and it’s great to see him enjoying his football again.
Paco Alcácer's numbers this season are unreal pic.twitter.com/v77nrYyiuc— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) October 12, 2018
The 25-year-old has starred for Borussia Dortmund after being allowed to leave the Camp Nou over the summer on loan, with an option to buy, after two tough seasons at the club.
The Bundesliga club can sign him permanently for €23 million plus €5 million in variables, and reports in Germany reckon they plan to do precisely that after his superb start to the season.
And who can blame them? Paco is enjoying life in the Bundesliga, his confidence has returned, he’s back in the Spain team, and if he can maintain his form he’ll be snapped up for what is a great price in the current transfer market.
His form means there are bound to be a few wistful looks from Barcelona particularly with reports in Spain claiming the club are keen to bring in a striker in January. At the moment the club have Luis Suarez as first-choice and Munir as back-up.
Paco Alcacer kept up his red-hot form with two goals for Spain—should Barcelona have let him go out on loan? pic.twitter.com/s1iTy8gjJM— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 11, 2018
Suarez has already come in for criticism this season despite coming up with three goals and three assists in La Liga. Thing is, he was scrutinised last year too and finished the campaign with 31 goals in all competitions for Barca.
Hindsight in a wonderful thing, but let’s not forget there were few people against Alcacer’s departure in August. Most thought he was not the right man for Barcelona and would have been happy to receive €28 million for a player who cost €32m and has done little to increase his value during his time at Barcelona.
That’s not to have a pop at Alcacer, after all he had one of the toughest jobs in football at Barcelona. Basically, sit on the bench for most of the season, and then on the few occasions one of the club’s attacking superstars don’t play, come straight into the team, score goals and ensure they’re not missed. No pressure.
Unsurprisingly Alcacer struggled for game time in his first season with Neymar, Messi and Suarez in front of him. It was the same story last season with Ousmane Dembele, Messi and Suarez ahead of him in the pecking order. He frequently failed to make the squad but still ended up with 23 appearances in all competitions and seven goals.
And so two years after joining Barcelona, Alcacer decided the time was right to move on, Barca agreed and so did Dortmund who were willing to take a punt on a striker and have so far been handsomely rewarded. They are three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table and have a 100% record in the Champions League.
“I took the decision to leave and go elsewhere in order to find playing time and enjoy my profession,” said Alcacer recently. He certainly seems to be enjoying himself now, and he deserves his time in the spotlight as he’s a very good striker. Not good enough for Barcelona’s first team perhaps but too good to waste away on the bench.
It looked the right move for all concerned at the time and is working out well for Dortmund and for Alcacer. Barcelona can be forgiven for feeling a tinge of regret as the goals go flying in, but it seems unlikely he’d be in this position if he’d stayed at the Camp Nou.
Were Barcelona right to let Alcacer leave? Would you like to see him back at Barcelona? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!