After midnight, while Matthew German, Barça football director, was still in the office, Joan Laporta was leaving the sports city of Sant Joan Despí. And from the second floor, the president raised his right fist euphorically. On a couple of occasions the leader celebrated, accompanied by Rafa Yuste, the Barça sports vice president, the closing of the winter market where four players have arrived (Alves, Ferran Torres, Adama Traore Y Aubameyang) that reveal, once again, the portrait of an absolutely unbalanced workforce.
There are 10 forwards because Dembélé, despite being pushed to leave in all possible legal ways, has not moved from the Camp Nou and only one left-back: Jordi Alba. Three footballers have left: iron at the Vienna Rapid, Coutinho, on loan to Aston Villa and Inaki Pena, also loaned to Galatasaray. But, on the other hand, no defensive specialist has arrived for the left wing.
The ‘Dembélé case’ continues
A Xavi, pending what happens to the wayward Frenchman, who is not ruled out even if the club grants him a release letter, he has to manage that abundance of forwards in these next five months with the sole objective of being among the top four in the League, access to the Champions next season. And of those four, only three can be registered in the Europa League.
The coach has the striker he wanted (Aubameyang fits that wish), but Morata, who was his favourite, has not arrived. However, he does not have the left-back who gives Alba rest, the only player who does not have a replacement in a squad that has, for the moment, been left with two goalkeepers (Ter Stegen and Neto) the transfer of Inaki Pena to Galatasaray. As a third way emerges now Arnau Tenas, the Barça B goalkeeper.
In defense Xavi has only received the reinforcement of Alves, who was without a team when Barça signed him. As soon as he arrived, the Brazilian, at 38 years old, has been installed in the starting lineup because the coach barely has Mingueza, one of the options used by Koeman on the right flank of the defense.
Six centrals on the payroll
Already Dest He has used it almost more on the end than on the side. There are nine defenders in the dressing room, with an excess of central defenders (Piqué, Araujo, Lenglet, Mingueza, Eric Garcia, injured, and Umtiti, also injured), with two right-handed full-backs (Alves and Dest) and only one left-handed (Alba).
Nothing new has come this winter for the center of the field because the injection of the quarry came in handy for Xavi, which has Busquets, Pedri, Sergi Roberto, injured, Frenkie de Jong, Nico, already with a first team record, Riqui Puig, which has, yes, a marginal role, and Gavi, already installed in the ownership although it will continue to have a subsidiary file until June while its renewal is negotiated.
Xavi has 10 forwards because the main objective of this winter market has been to reinforce the attack. Three of the four signings (Ferran, Adama and Aubameyang) are for that area so weakened in effectiveness, but not in number.
The Premier, the new fishing ground for Barça
The three, in addition, come from the Premier, now converted into the fishing ground in which Barça recently fished, as was already demonstrated when he went to Manchester to recruit the Kun Agüero, which had to be withdrawn due to heart problems, and Eric García.
In that extensive list of 10 forwards there are up to seven with the capacity to play as ‘nine’
10 forwards and up to seven with the capacity to act as center forward: Luke de Jong, Braithwaite Y Jutglà are now secondary solutions as well because aubameyang, Ferran Torres Y Memphis They could play that role in the offensive axis of the team, waiting, of course, for Ansu Fati recover from his serious muscle injury.
There are also three pure extremes: Dembele, if he ever has another minute dressed as a blaugrana, Adama Traore Y Abde, whose progression in the first team may now be slowed down by the arrival of so many strikers.
And as you warned Xavi, Barça, trapped by the economic crisis, has what it can, not what it wanted.
The Barça squad 21-22 after the winter market
3 Goalkeepers: Ter Stegen, Neto and Arnau Tenas (Barça B).
9 Defenses: Alves (signing), Dest, Piqué, Araujo, Lenglet, Eric Garcia, Umtiti, Mingueza and Jordi Alba.
7 Midfielders: Busquets, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Sergi Roberto, Gavi (Barça B), Nico and Riqui Puig.
10 Forwards: Dembélé, Memphis, Ansu Fati, Braithwaite, Luuk de Jong, Abde (Barça B), Jutglà (Barça B), Ferran Torres (signing), Adama Traoré (signing) and Aubameyang (signing).