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Analyzing Barcelona’s Squad Depth

Analyzing Barcelona’s Squad Depth

Barcelona FC

 

FC Barcelona were quite busy last summer, recruiting players from all over the world to match the bench strength of the their arch rivals Real Madrid. They did a decent job in doing so, but totally overlooked the fact that they don’t have a proper right back after Dani Alves left for Juventus. Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne, Andre Gomes and Paco Alcacer all were bought for a good amount of money to add to the bench strength of the squad and the players happily joined the club, knowing the fact that Luis Enrique loves to rotate the squad a lot. Andre Gomes and Alcacer both joined from Barcelona’s feeder club Valencia. Real Madrid were reportedly ahead of signing the Portuguese midfielder but shockingly, it was Barcelona who grabbed the Euro winner. As reported by Marca just after this transfer was made official, Real Madrid president was caught on camera saying to their coach Zinedine Zidane “Let us fool them”. Though nowhere did Florentino mention Barcelona, but it was highly likely that he was talking about them.

River Plate v FC Barcelona - FIFA Club World Cup Final
FC Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta, Sergi Roberto and Sergio Busquets celebrate winning the FIFA Club World Cup Final

Barcelona paid a heavy chunk of their budget for the Portuguese and later another 32 million on Alcacer who has been below average so far. Luis Enrique hasn’t been supportive of the home grown players that much, as Munir and Halilovic were sold to pave way for Gomes and Alcacer, both have underperformed so far. Munir was one of the best talents at Barca’s disposal and could have easily substituted for Suarez, but Enrique went out of the box to spend 32 million for a bench warmer. Same was the case for Halilovic and Andre Gomes. Samuel Umtiti has been a good signing, solidifying the defense even more alongside Lucas Digne but in his blind transfer strategy, Barcelona spent all of their budget on these four players leaving no room for the much needed replacement required for right back position.

The departure of Dani Alves left a big hole in the Barcelona defense. Sergi Roberto has been used as a right back since then, but hasn’t been upto the mark. Sergi Roberto is a midfielder and has deputized as a right back whenever required, but a club of Barca’s stature should not be having a makeshift right back. Barcelona are reportedly after Valencia RB Jaoa Cancelo after being rejected by Hector Bellerin. Barcelona do have a really good bench strength and an amazing depth to win it all this season as Arda is firing again and Denis Suarez and Rafinha putting in important and encouraging performances whenever called upon. The key would still lie on Gomes and Alcacer, how they fare in the coming months and given the recent slump Real Madrid are going through, Barca should be making the most of it if they want to remain in the title race.

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