Barcelona’s defence has been far from convincing of late, and they head to Eibar for Saturday’s clash with Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo both suspended, while Samuel Umtiti is only just back from another injury setback.
Talking about the defence, it’s time Barcelona look for alternatives in the upcoming transfer windows because even when players are available, the team has suffered at the back in recent seasons.
Here are some alternatives that Barcelona should consider when it comes to strengthening the backline.
A revelation for RB Leipzig, Dayot Upamecano has all the qualities to excel in a top team. A right-footed player, he is great at tackling, has good pace for a center-back and can also play in midfield. Although Leipzig will be keen to keep him on their books, a decent offer from a great club may just tempt them into selling.
Ruben Dias was a key player last season for Benfica as they clinched the Portuguese title, and he also played a part in Portugal’s Nations League triumph. It’s perhaps no surprise that Premier League clubs like Manchester City and Manchester United have already been linked with the centre-back. A great defender who is still only 22 and is rarely injured, he is a player Barcelona really should be looking at. However, he has a release clause of around £80 million which may prove to be a major obstacle.
Lisandro Martinez’s stellar displays for Defensa y Justicia earned him a dream move to Ajax in the summer, and he’s started all but one of his new club’s games in the Eredivisie. The 21-year-old’s composure, confidence and passing ability are impressive, and Barcelona may want to take a look at him in the summer transfer window. Touted as Matthijs de Ligt’s replacement, he’s been a superb signing at just €7 million and looks to have a bright future.
Inigo Martinez is the oldest player on the list at 28, but he is still an interesting option as he has bags of experience and knows La Liga inside out. Martinez has performed consistently well for Athletic Club and is a part of a defence that has conceded the joint least goals in the league as of now (three in eight games). The Spain international is a reliable presence at the back and has attracted interest from Barcelona before, caming close to a move to the Camp Nou back in 2017.
The promising Uruguayan center-back has already impressed manager Ernesto Valverde while with Barcelona B. He debuted against Sevilla last time out but was promptly sent off, although it looked a harsh call. Araujo is a physical player who has been trained the Barca way, meaning he will gel with the rest of the team quite easily. One match shouldn’t dictate his future, and he should be given more chances to prove he can make the grade at the Camp Nou.