How do you improve the best soccer team of this generation? Barcelona have already ‘upgraded’ on Pep Guardiola with his former assistant taking charge, seemingly improving Barcelona’s efficiency and consistency on the pitch. It’s impossible to find a better alternative to Lionel Messi, at least at this time. But what about the Barcelona defence?
InsideSpanishFootball have stated that Barcelona will look to Borussia Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotic to steady the backline and act as the long-term replacement for Carles Puyol.
Subotic has formed one of the most impressive defensive pairings in European soccer alongside Mats Hummels, acting as the foundation for which the team could form back-to-back assaults on the Bundesliga title.
Subotic represents everything Barcelona would be looking for in a defender: a young but experienced player, good technical attributes and a strong leader at the back.
It has long been an intention of Barcelona to reinforce their defence. This past summer they had favoured a move for Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez, now at Bayern Munich, but were put off by the excessive transfer fee. The club went for another option in Arsenal’s Alex Song, with the promise of adding a versatile player who could fill in at either centre-back or his natural defensive midfield position.
But Song has thus far looked well short of the quality Barcelona need at centre-back. Puyol has been in and out of the team with injury and Gerard Pique has also missed spells this season while on the treatment table. The worst case scenario has seen Adriano, a natural full-back, partner Javier Mascherano, a midfielder turned defender, at the heart of the defence.
If there is one pressing need for Barcelona it’s the necessity to add a significant figure to the defence. For too long the team have ‘made do’ with what they had, and while it’s hardly been a cause for major concern considering their quality, it is now time Barcelona addressed the issue properly.
A stumbling block will of course be Subotic’s desire to remain at Dortmund. As is the case at the moment, many of the German club’s stars are happy to remain in the Bundesliga and the club have no need to sell. It would undoubtedly take a colossal fee to convince Dortmund to part with one of their assets, but Barcelona have shown in the past they’re more than capable of landing their most desired targets.