According to Mundo Deportivo, Martin Braithwaite is destined for a Premier League move this summer. The Barcelona striker has already become a subject of interest from clubs like Everton & West Ham United following a short, unsuccessful spell at Camp Nou. Although the striker has also received offers from Spanish clubs, England is the likely destination, with Barca ready to offload the Dane.
Martin Braithwaite’s struggles at Barcelona
Braithwaite initially joined Barcelona back in February, in an €18 million move from Leganes. He was brought in as an alternative to Luis Suarez, who was struggling from several fitness issues.
However, the Dane’s transfer to Catalonia hasn’t worked out well for the striker. He has featured in just over 400 minutes of league football, mustering only four starts. During that period, the ex-Middlesbrough forward has found the back of the net only once.
Braithwaite was perhaps unlucky as the Coronavirus pandemic allowed Suarez some much-needed time to recover himself and get back to full fitness. So when football did restart back in June, the Uruguayan was in contention to start once again, thus minimising the game-time of his Danish counterpart.
Aside from Suarez, the emergence of Ansu Fati, combined with the versatility of Antoine Griezmann have also played a key role in preventing Braithwaite from making a mark at Barcelona. Although his current contract expires in 2024, a move away from Nou Camp could still be the best option, from an individual perspective.
Can Barcelona afford to offload Braithwaite?
Barcelona are preparing to undergo a potential squad overhaul as manager Quique Setien prepares for life without the old guards like Suarez, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi.
Suarez, in particular, has shown signs of decline in terms of his fitness over the past couple of years. As a result, Barcelona have been strongly linked with a move for Inter Milan sensation Lautaro Martinez.
The Argentine’s potential addition to the club could go a long way in fixing Barca’s problems in the number nine role. It can also nullify the need for someone like Braithwaite in the team.
The 29-year-old has been a liability for the most part and is unlikely to bring any quality anytime soon. On the contrary, his potential departure should help Barcelona free up some of their wage budget, thus allowing them to pursue more viable transfer targets in the ongoing summer transfer window.
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