Saturday, August 20, 2022

Barcelona Linked With Ligue 1 Defensive Powerhouse: Will He Strengthen The Blaugrana?

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Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

Barcelona have had a decent start to their campaign, being placed second in the La Liga table with 25 points from eleven games. Two points behind their arch-rivals Real Madrid, the Catalans might have a venomous attacking tooth up front in the shape of their trio comprising of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez but what might impose a dent on their title credentials is their ambiguities at the back.

The Spanish giants have conceded 13 goals already in the league which isn’t a good sign by any means for the reigning domestic champions. Their backline has been shaky, leaky, erratic and penetrable which, defensively speaking, makes them fragile as a complete unit. Luis Enrique is assessing his options to bring a mixture of mettle and flamboyance in his defence, and apparently, Serge Aurier is one of the options he is seriously considering at the moment.

The Paris Saint-Germain star is a stellar option for any side as he is an impressive player on his day. The full-back was on Arsene Wenger’s wish list when he plied his trade at Toulouse. But again, Wenger failed to make the required move for a gettable asset, in the process of which PSG lured him for around the £7 million mark.

However, his tenure at the French capital so far has been vandalised, the latest being his two-month imprisonment punishment after he was found guilty of assaulting a police officer outside a nightclub in Paris. His on-field contributions haven’t been up to the mark as well, and his days are severely numbered. It is believed that Aurier will be allowed to leave Unai Emery’s side in the January transfer window, which has alerted a lot of clubs, including Barcelona.

With Sergi Roberto on the right-back slot, Enrique has a problem of no quality backup which is getting exposed on a regular basis now. Even Roberto was severely criticised for his dismal outing against Manchester City in Barcelona’s 3-1 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s comrades, which was followed up by a very amateurish performance against Sevilla last weekend. Neither he has been doing anything substantial offensively nor he is pocketing the opponents and thus, the search for a potentially much more capable player is on the cards.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-PSG-MARSEILLE

Serge Aurier’s talent might seem to be taken a hit at PSG but to strike him out will be a premature evaluation. The 23-year-old is a world class athlete and has an unmatchable stamina and pace to steer up and down the pitch on the right. Nicknamed as ‘the bison’, the Ivorian steel is impeccable in the air, prolific in his tackles, dangerous during the set pieces and is versatile enough to be employed anywhere in the defence. He is undoubtedly a forward-thinking full-back who bags goals and assists as well, and the fact that he is an equally sound defender makes him a complete package which is something Barcelona are pining for at the moment.

Discipline is certainly an issue we can’t overlook, but considering the upward trajectory that had been there in his career before his off-field antics. In 5 league appearances this season, he has created 6 chances, registered a pass accuracy of 88%, won 63% of his duels, made 12 tackles with a success rate of 71%, alongside clocking 10 clearances and 4 interceptions. Considering the issues he has had so far in France, it won’t be a huge issue for the Spanish outfit to sign the promising star which can indeed solve their defensive crisis.

Statistics Credits: Squawka

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