In recent years Barcelona have found it difficult to replicate their success in the transfer market when it comes to strikers. Luis Suarez remains the club’s main man and there are few better than the 32-year-old.
However, fatigue and lingering concerns over a knee problem are a worry. Barcelona did bring in a back-up in January, albeit a shocking one in Kevin-Prince Boateng. He has been performing on par with the disastrous expectation fans have on him and this shows Barcelona still haven’t got their target man right.
The club are in desperate need of a striker and this has had a significant impact on matches of comparatively lesser priority - yesterday’s game against SD Huesca being the prime example.
So let’s have a look at the players Barcelona could look at to strengthen their attack ahead of the summer transfer window.
The starlet, along with Brais Mendez and Iago Aspas, has been a shining light for Celta Vigo in a dismal campaign so far. He has scored 12 times this season as Celta fight off relegation and provides a good aerial presence at set-pieces. Add to this the fact that he’s Uruguayan and possibly Suarez’s heir in the national team, means he seems a good fit for Barcelona. At 22 he’s got time on his side to improve his pace and his passing skills. He will no doubt learn from his legendary compatriot and in turn boost his chances of starting in the national XI.
This list will never be complete without this player. Luka Jovic, on loan from Benfica, has excelled with Eintracht Frankfurt as he is the second top scorer in the Bundesliga, only behind a certain Bayern Munich hitman. He has a keen eye for goal, is strong and quick with and without the ball, an indirect set-piece threat, likes counters and with five assists to his name, his passing is appreciable. With an air of uncertainty surrounding Barca’s interest in the player, it’s evident Jovic is a great option and, given the opportunity, could shine for the Blaugranes.
The striker is establishing his name with the national squad, spearheads Valencia from the front and has been linked to the Blaugranes this season. He runs like a machine, is a clinical finisher, has great dribbling skills for a striker and most importantly is a proven goal-scorer in La Liga. Although he says he’s happy where he is and commands a hefty fee, Barcelona should not find it difficult to lure him from Valencia; the only obstacle that Barcelona face is his age. Rodrigo turned 28 in March and investing a substantial amount on a backup option who is heading towards his thirties might not seem fruitful in the long run.
Argentina has produced many of the fiercest attackers the game has ever seen and Lautaro Martinez is the latest addition to that list. The diminutive striker has already followed in the footsteps of great Argentinian players who have worn the Nerazzurri shirt in their historic careers. Martinez has been likened to compatriot Sergio Aguero by Hernan Crespo (another Argentinian legend) and we can see some similarities: great finishing and dribbling skills, heads the ball well and is physically strong despite his short stature. He won’t come cheap and could link up well with Lionel Messi but with Mauro Icardi and the controversies surrounding his stay at the San Siro, Inter may consider holding on to their man.
Martinez is a proven MLS star and is one of the most decorated single-season players in the history of the league. He holds a record of scoring the most goals in a single MLS season with 35 in 2018. Even though MLS as a league is an upcoming market for European teams, Martinez is a player too good for the league and it’s a shame he has been overlooked by top teams. He has a relatively lower price tag and could prove to be an excellent backup to Suarez. Still only 25 he also has time to adapt to Barcelona’s style of play. He just signed a five-year deal with Atlanta United, but the possibility of swapping the MLS for a move to the Camp Nou would surely be too tempting to turn down.