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Why Barcelona are keen on Miralem Pjanić and other older players

A report claims Barcelona like how quickly older players adapt

Juventus Training Session Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

FC Barcelona’s pursuit of a swap sending Arthur to Juventus in exchange for Miralem Pjanić has puzzled some observers. Why swap a 23-year-old midfielder for a 30-year-old one?

But a new document obtained by a Madrid-based paper is said to reveal some insight into the deal.

The report, if authentic, seems to say that the Catalans prefer experience over youth in certain positions.

“The requirements of the specific position must be taken into account. Perhaps not only very young players should be signed. Where a greater knowledge of the game is required, it may be interesting to sign older players and, where physical performance is needed, consider younger athletes. Moreover, an experienced player may require less time to adapt to his new club and be at his peak from the moment he arrives,” says the document.

The report notes that passing percentages are higher for 30-year-old players by a factor between 3 and 5 percent compared to those under 30.

“In addition, the synchronisation of veteran players in the competition (coordination of their movements during the game) is better than that of younger players,” the report is said to say.

It’s not that Barcelona prefer experience in all positions, as evidence by their pursuit of Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martínez (22 years old). But it may be they prefer older midfielders.

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