Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Barcelona To Make A Surprise Move For This Full-Back: A Wise Choice By Enrique?

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Sarthak Mondal
Armchair analyst. Engineering dropout by choice. Sports Management student.

Already being on the verge of exit in UEFA Champions League, after losing 0-4 to Paris Saint-German, FC Barcelona’s gaffer, Luis Enrique is considering a move for Deportivo de La Coruña’s (on loan from Watford) fullback, Juan Francesco Moreno as a replacement for Aleix Vidal.

Vidal, who can play as a right full-back and winger, suffered a season-ending ankle injury during Barcelona’s 6-0 win over Alaves last weekend. According to La Liga rules, if a player is seriously injured, he can be replaced with players from within the same division or free agents.

According to the rules, the 28-year old Spaniard is eligible for a move to Barcelona, as he is currently plying his trade on loan with relegation-threatened Deportivo de La Coruña. The player is available for £6.5m from his parent club, Watford.

The Catalonia side are currently sitting a point behind league leaders, Real Madrid, having played a games more and Luis Enrique is expected to be waiting for a few more weeks before lining up the move. The Spaniard is a tested quality, graduating through the youth ranks of Avance and Getafe, before moving over to Real Madrid, Real Betis and subsequently Deportivo de La Coruña.

The 28-year old can be a better replacement for Aleix Vidal, having played 21 games so far for his team. Apart from good interception abilities, the fullback is well known for his pace and ability to trace back after going on the overlap. With good crossing ability, Juanfran can be a solid addition to the depleted Barcelona side, as he may feed in crosses to the deadly trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar.

The Spaniard likes to shoot from distance and test the opposition custodian but unfortunately, doesn’t have a goal to show for in the league campaign so far. However, the wait for the goal may end if he joins Barcelona, given the style of play of the Catalonia side and the diversity of goal scorers possessed by them.

The 1.79 meters tall fullback is not well known for his aerial abilities, but can surely improve on that feature if Luis Enrique opts to sign him for the prestigious Barcelona colours. With time running out for the Catalan giants, we have to probably wait for a few more weeks to find out the replacement lined up by the Barcelona management, which may probably be a last ditch effort to save the season from ending trophy-less.

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