Thursday, June 1, 2023

Manchester City Centre-Back Wants To Join Barcelona: Should The Catalans Step Up Their Pursuit?

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Abhinab Ghosh
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.

In a recent report, Sport has stated that Manchester City centre-back Aymeric Laporte wants to join Barcelona this summer. It is understood that the Spanish defender is pushing for a move to the Nou Camp during this summer transfer window (via Sport).

Laporte’s Growing Frustrations at Man City Recently

Laporte had a frustrating campaign with Man City as he lost his first-team rights to John Stones, who was often Pep Guardiola’s preferred choice to operate alongside Ruben Dias in the centre-back positions. The 27-year-old scored twice in 27 matches for the Mancunian outfit last season on all fronts.

The Spanish defensive ace struggled to live up to his usual standards but did well to average 0.8 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and 1.8 clearances per 90 minutes in the 2020-21 Premier League season. He distributed the ball with a lot of accuracy from the back, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 91.1% in the top tier of English football (stats via whoscored).

The Agen-born talent needs to ensure that he plays regular top-flight football if he wants to establish himself as one of the best defenders in European football. Therefore, a return to Spain to join Barca this summer could be an attractive move for Laporte to consider in this off-season.

Aymeric Laporte wants to join Barcelona (Laporte is in action in the picture)
Oliver Burke of Sheffield United and Aymeric Laporte of Manchester City contest a header during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Sheffield United at Etihad Stadium on January 30, 2021 in Manchester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Should The Catalans Step Up Their Pursuit Of Laporte?

Laporte is a dominant defender inside his half as he can use his strong 1.89m frame to win some crucial 50-50 aerial duels against the opposition. The Spaniard excels at playing his way out from the back and hardly gives away the ball as he is a composed presence in central defence.

The Man City star possesses exceptional defensive awareness that allows him to hunt the ball down for his team. He is also not shy of clearing the danger when required, so he will be a welcome addition to Ronald Koeman’s match-day squad before the start of the new campaign.

Laporte will be a significant upgrade over Gerard Pique, who is way past his prime, at the Nou Camp. More importantly, the Spanish powerhouse will enhance the quality of Koeman’s starting XI considerably which might be enough for Barca to challenge for the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League trophy once again from next season.

At 27, Laporte is playing at the peak of his career, so Barca should consider stepping up their pursuit if they are serious about getting the Premier League defender on board during this summer transfer period.

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