Having failed to lure Philippe Coutinho, Barcelona hierarchy called on Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund last season but in a major setback, the French sensation has been sidelined for at least four months for rupturing his tendon and now can’t feature for them until 2018.
The youngster has been trying to settle in the team following his big-money move from the German team but an injury has dealt a major blow to their plans. Coutinho has been a long target for the Catalans but Liverpool have maintained a stronghold over the player.
Ernesto Valverde is said to have chalked a list of a number of players and he has reportedly identified Julian Brandt of Bayer Leverkusen as his primary target. Barcelona had a forgettable last season and Ernesto Valverde needs to ensure his team remain on the right path this season. They have started the season on a positive note but the absence of Neymar and Dembele will be felt definitely and the boss doesn’t want to take a risk this season.
Brandt has established himself as one of the most devastating attackers in the European circuit. Having graduated from the Wolfsburg youth system, the 21-year-old was very quick to rise to the top level and has maintained a steady progress in his development.
Predominantly a winger, the player loves to take on defenders. Matches in Bundesliga are often very physical and over the years Brandt has used his physicality to overcome this brand of football. His stout physical presence allows him to win duels easily and he has complimented this with raw pace.
So overall he is a complete package and the Catalans would love to have a player like him at the Camp Nou.
But sometimes his defensive frailties exploit his weakness and he needs to work on this aspect. The 21-year-old has already made his presence felt in the national setup also and is in the contention to book a place in the World Cup squad.
Barcelona reportedly had their scout present as Leverkusen played out a 1-1 draw with Schalke in the Bundesliga recently. Barcelona have Arda Turan and Gerard Deulofeu in that position and none of them has the qualities to even challenge Brandt.
Being a winger, what attracts most is his knack for score goals. The German international has scored over 20 goals for the German side which speaks volumes about his capability. The Catalans are likely to make a formal offer once the transfer window opens in January. But is he the right man for them?