10 Smart Transfer Targets For Barcelona During January Transfer Window
Looking At Barcelona's Needs During January Transfer Window
After winning La Liga by an astounding 15 points over archrival Real Madrid during the 2012-13 season, picking up wonderkid Neymar during the summer transfer window and getting off to a 5-2-0 start in all competitions for the 2013-14 season, it would appear on paper that FC Barcelona is the perfect squad. But much like anything else in life, first glance does not tell the whole story, and Barcelona has some real holes in their squad that will be exposed by the best teams in the world if not fixed, much like they were by FC Bayern Munich in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League last season.
The problems in Barcelona's squad is that the squad is very low on numbers in the positions of both center back, attacking midfielder. They will also have to find a new goalkeeper with Victor Valdes stating his intent to leave following the 2013-14 season. The summer transfer window did nearly nothing to solve these issues, as Barcelona actually saw impressive attacking midfielder Thiago Alcantara leave for Bayern and picked up no one in the positions of need stated above.
This lack of action during the summer has left Barcelona in the precarious situation of having to wheel-and-deal during the January transfer window- when transfer prices are almost always inflated to ridiculous prices-or risk losing out on winners medals in the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa Del Rey. Losing out in each of these competitions would be a monumental failure for a Barcelona side that has gained a reputation for taking all of the silverware available to them in recent years, so there is no doubt that club President Sandro Rosell and Manager Gerardo Martino will realize the need to spend these inflated prices in January to better their squad.
We have taken the liberty of helping Rosell and Martino by pinpointing 10 players that Barcelona should target during the January transfer window to make their squad stronger both for the rest of the 2013-14 season and the foreseeable future.
10. Samir Nasri
After showing his displeasure with Manchester City during the 2012-13 season and receiving limited minutes to begin this season a transfer may be beckoning for Samir Nasri. Nasri is a very talented attacking midfielder, although he has gone through long stretches where he looks uninterested in what is going on in the field of play. If options during the January window run thin, as expected, a bet on Nasri's potential may be the best move for Rosell and Martino.
9. Jan Vertonghen
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas would likely do all in his powers to keep Jan Vertonghen from a move to Barcelona, but the lure of playing for the Catalans would likely be too much to shy away from. Vertonghen has already that he can play against any of the top sides in the Barclays Premier League, and would be a good fit for Barcelona with his prowess on the ball.
8. Iker Casillas
In an ideal world, Real Madrid would surely not prefer to sell to their archrivals. But with Iker Casillas being relegated to backup duty and Barcelona in need of a goalkeeper, they may be a perfect match. After playing with many of Barcelona's players for the Spanish National Team in recent years, it is likely that Casillas would fill in seamlessly to the team's system. Moving for Casillas would be a smart move for both Barcelona and Madrid, as it would end goalkeeper saga's in each squad.
7. Julian Draxler
Julian Draxler is one of the best young attacking midfielders in the world, and has been linked with a number of moves away from Schalke 04 in the past year. Draxler has shown a propensity to create something out of nothing with the ball at his feet. With a somewhat larger frame than many of Barcelona's current midfielders, he could provide another dimension to the squad.
6. Kyriakos Papadopoulos
Kyriakos Papadopoulos has the ability to play as either a central defender or midfielder, a very valuable asset to any team. Papadopoulos would bring a different dimension to Barcelona, much like his teammate Draxler, because of the fact that he plays with a very physical style. With a reported value of 11 million Euros, Papadopoulos could turn out to be one of the bargains of the window.
5. Hugo Lloris
It is likely that Tottenham will do everything within their power to keep Hugo Lloris from Barcelona's grasp. But if things go downhill in North London, that could prove difficult. Given Lloris' immense ability to both block everything in his sights and distribute the ball out of the back, it is likely that Barcelona will be crossing their fingers that Tottenham's season goes down hill.
4. Marco Verratti
Marco Verratti is a central midfielder for PSG, where he has shown the ability to operate in a playmaker or more defensive midfielder role. Verratti has also shown that he is looking forward to life outside of the French capital after he requested a transfer this summer. Barcelona would be wise to capitalize on this desire for a move and bring in the diminutive Italian midfielder in January.
3. Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels is one of the best central defenders in the world, and could turn out to be the next young player to leave Borussia Dortmund in the near future. While manager Jurgen Klopp would likely not want to lose the stalwart of his defense in the middle of the season, a large enough transfer fee could be too much to turn down.
2. Juan Mata
Juan Mata is another Chelsea player who does not fit into manager Jose Mourinho's system, and may seek a move because of this. Mata is extremely gifted with the ball, works tirelessly and is willing to sacrifice for his teammates. All of this makes the Spanish midfielder a perfect fit for Barcelona's system, as well as the possibility that he could possibly turn out to be a long-term replacement for Xavi.
1. David Luiz
Barcelona should attempt to go back in for David Luiz after attempting to sign him during the summer window, only to see Chelsea demand double the 25 million Euros that was offered. While Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho would prefer not to sell the Brazilian to his former rivals, the facts are that he is not a fit for Mourinho's system. On the contrary, Luiz's skill with the ball at his feet and mobility are a perfect fit for the Barcelona passing and pressing system, making him an ideal transfer candidate in January.