Barcelona Unwilling To Sanction Defender’s Exit This Summer: Did The Catalans Make The Right Call?

Barcelona unwilling to sanction Clement Lenglet's exit this summer (The French defender is seen celebrating in the picture.)
(L-R) Barcelona's Spanish defender Gerard Pique, Barcelona's French defender Clement Lenglet and Barcelona's French forward Ousmane Dembele celebrate at the end of the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on March 2, 2019. (JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Goal.com, Barcelona are unwilling to sanction Clement Lenglet’s exit this summer amid a recent report from Mundo Deportivo suggesting that he might be used as a makeweight to sign Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan. The same source has claimed that the Catalan giants have no intention of parting ways with the French defender during the summer transfer window as they consider him as a ‘non-transferrable’ asset.

Lenglet’s Excellent Form At Catalonia This Season

The 24-year-old has enjoyed another impressive season at the Nou Camp after putting in a series of excellent displays at the centre of Quique Setien’s defence. He has made 29 appearances for Barca this term, registering three goals and one assist on all fronts which highlight his knack for making significant contributions going forward.

More importantly, Lenglet has been a rock at the back for the Catalan outfit after averaging 1.5 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 2.7 clearances in every 90 minutes of football in the La Liga and the UEFA Champions League this season. He also boasts a pass completion rate of 91.7% in league football which has made him such an integral member of Setien’s first-team (stats via whoscored).

The Frenchman’s all-around contributions helped Barca keep their noses above Real Madrid at the top of the league standings before the football world came to an abrupt halt because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Lenglet has also secured seven senior caps for the French national side while netting one goal for his country in the process. If he can maintain his high standards in the upcoming campaign, then Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps will have no choice but to include him in his squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals.

Barcelona unwilling to sanction Clement Lenglet's exit this summer (the French defender is in action in the photo.)
Clement Lenglet of FC Barcelona warms up prior to the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on March 07, 2020, in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

What Does The Seven-Time France International Bring To The Table?

Lenglet can use his quickness to make up a lot of ground at the back and is not shy about throwing himself to the ground so that he can win possession back for his team. He is proficient at distributing the ball out from the back as he shows excellent composure and awareness when interchanging passes with his teammates going forward.

The Frenchman is an intelligent defender who possesses the strength to overpower the opposition in the air. He is also quite effective when defending inside his own box as he can clear the danger when being bombarded with crosses from the wide areas.

Did Barca Make The Right Call By Not Sanctioning Lenglet’s Departure This Summer?

Lenglet has no weaknesses in his game as such which makes him a valuable asset in Setien’s squad. Even though the Barca head coach is in dire need to recruit a new forward so that he can replace the ageing Luis Suarez, yet it does not make sense for him to sacrifice one of his best defenders in Lenglet as it will leave the La Liga leaders quite vulnerable at the back.

With all things considered, Barcelona have made the right call by not sanctioning the French defender’s sale this summer as he is currently an irreplaceable member of their backline. Giving him up to recruit a striker of Lautaro Martinez’s skillset would have made sense if the Catalans did not have too much firepower up top. However, the presence of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann along with the emergence of young talents like Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele should be enough to ease their attacking concerns for the time being.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.