Football Club Barcelona have won five trophies in two previous seasons but have faced consecutive humiliations (blowing a 3 goal cushion) in Europe at the hands of AS Roma and Liverpool. Last year it was a tragedy, now it’s becoming a trend.
With an ever ageing squad, the Blaugrana club will look to bring in some key players to smoothen the transition rather than going for an overhaul which might disrupt the core of the squad.
The likes of Gerard Pique, Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi are all either 30 years of age or above which has been one of the many reasons for the Catalan club’s failure in Europe. Frenkie de Jong is set to arrive in the summer but it won’t be enough if they dream of lifting their sixth Champions League trophy next season.
With the English league gaining in prominence both in terms of viewership and quality, let’s take a look at the three possible Premier League stars who could make the grade at Barcelona and flourish.
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen is entering into his final year of contract at the north London club. The Lilywhites, meanwhile, would like to cash in on the Danish international and avoid losing him for free in the summer of 2020.
With disappointing performances from Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho hampering the Camp Nou outfit, Eriksen can bring new energy into the Blaugrana midfield. The Dane is a creative presence in the centre of the pitch who can chip in with important goals at significant moments. Eriksen isn’t as prolific as Iniesta but his inclusion can fill the void to some extent.
The Manchester United youngster who looked more unsettled at Old Trafford as the season progressed is facing a tough time at Old Trafford and could become the successor to Luis Suarez who is entering his twilight years at Camp Nou. The 21-year-old can be an understudy to the Uruguayan and can learn from the best before breaking into the first team.
Rashford can be the new face of the Blaugrana attack for years to come and with his pace and dribbling skills, he could run rampant playing alongside the likes of Messi, Busquets and Dembele.
Barcelona have been repeatedly linked with a move for the English superstar and if they can pull this off, it will be the biggest story of the transfer window.
Another name that can take over the reins from the Uruguayan is Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette. The 27-year-old has enough experience under his belt playing for the likes of Lyon and Arsenal.
The Frenchman has 32 goal contributions this campaign netting the ball on 19 occasions. Other than his goals, Lacazette excels at a lot of things and his defensive contribution remains vital to any side and more so to Barcelona if he moves to the Camp Nou.
With Messi staying high up the pitch and doing minimal defensive work, Barca cannot afford two players in Suarez and Messi to give up defensive duties especially with age catching up to Busquets. The Arsenal striker will be pivotal in this aspect as he can fall deep and help his team win the ball back which would perfectly complement his link up with the little magician.
Barcelona have been linked with the Arsenal striker also and it will be interesting to see whether this move materialises.