Why Barcelona needs to invest heavily in this summer window
The 2019/2020 season is one to forget for most Barcelona fans despite still in the Champions League with a game against Napoli in the round of 16. They have finished the league behind rival, Real Madrid, in a fashion that is not typical of Barcelona.
The need to play a certain way made the Catalan giant sack Ernesto Valverde for Quique Setien. This did not bring any changes to their result on the field. What is not admitted is that there are some fundamentals wrong with the Barcelona squad. This has to be admitted by the club to move forward.
To address the issues at the club, new signings have to be made and these signings have to be certain types of players that will fit into the club rather than just players that are quick fixes or players seen as potential Lionel Messi’s or Neymar’s replacement. The club has to do more than they have been doing before now in a different direction. There are departures that also have to happen to free the wage bill to get new players.
It all has to start from knowing well that Setien might not be the man to manage this Barcelona side as he inspires zero confidence from the players from the moment he joined the club. So the management of the club has to know if they are sticking with the manager and let the players know that he is not going anywhere or fire him and bring in someone that can command the dressing room.
The second thing that needs to be done is ask what’s more important to Barcelona, winning or playing a certain way to win? This was a major problem under Valverde as he is seen as too pragmatic but still won consecutive league titles and although the betting odds backing him to win a trophy every campaign is impressive, this question still has to be asked.
If bringing a manager that plays tiki-taka is what Barcelona want to do, then the players that will be signed should be players that fit that profile, not bringing Arturo Vidal to add the numbers or selling Arthur for Miralem Pjanic who is 6 years younger than the latter.
A new chapter has to be opened at Camp Nou and fresh legs needed at the club. Many have passed their prime and should be on their way out of the club soon. Barcelona is a big bulb with great history and it will not be difficult to attract new players to the club and the lure of playing in the same club with Lionel Messi is a very great incentive for many talented players that should be courted by Barcelona.
Luiz Suarez is on the other side of 30 and will definitely need to have a replacement in the pipeline. Bringing in Inter Milan Lautaro Martinez next season will boast the team attacking option. Adding him to a team that have an experienced Lionel Messi, growing Ansu Fati and inspiring youngster Pedri who will be joining from Las Palmas, Barcelona could be doing great in the attacking line.
Martinez will however not come cheap. He is expected to cost Barca in the region of €60m plus a player in exchange for their priced asset.
A new midfielder is also expected at the club despite the imminent arrival of Pjanic. One name that has a lot of admirers at the club is Napoli Fabian Ruiz. The midfielder has been a key player for the Naples side and will be flattered by a move to Barcelona if a great deal is tabled for Napoli.
The backline will definitely need some fresh blood with Gerard Pique already 33. Samuel Umtiti has not been the same since his prolonged knee injury which kept recurring. It means the only trusted center back is Clement Lenglet. New ball-playing center half will likely arrive sooner than later. The most likely arrival is Manchester City Eric Garcia who wants to return to his home country and will fancy the move back to Spain.
He will be a perfect fit for Barcelona after playing under Pep Guardiola and will have understood what it takes to play at a club that all is demanded of you whenever you wear the jersey. When all these deals are done, Barcelona will be confident that they can head into the next campaign with the belief they can challenge for the league title and the Champions League based on their quality and depth of their squad.