Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Barcelona Youngster Ready To Leave Amid Chelsea Interest: Should Tuchel Launch A Move For Him?

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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 stated that Barcelona youngster Ilaix Moriba is ready to leave this summer amid interest from Chelsea. It is understood that the Blues have always been a keen admirer of the Spanish starlet and could now have a good chance of sealing a move for him (via Sport).

Moriba’s Rapid Emergence In Spanish Football

The promising prospect is a product of Barcelona’s La Masia academy and has done well to break out as a first-team starter under Ronald Koeman’s stewardship at Catalonia in the previous campaign. Moriba scored one goal and secured three assists in 18 senior appearances for Barca last season in multiple competitions.

The 18-year-old caught the eye, mostly as a substitute for the Catalan outfit as he averaged 1.0 tackles, 0.4 interceptions, 0.9 shots, 0.5 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per 90 minutes in La Liga. He even distributed the ball quite well from midfield after completing 91.6% of his attempted passes in the top tier of Spanish football (stats via whoscored).

Moriba has got less than a year remaining in his Barca contract, so the Blues would be in a good position to land him on a cut-price fee if they decide to move in for him before the transfer window closes at the end of this month.

Barcelona's Moriba ready to leave amid Chelsea interest (Moriba is seen in the picture)
FC Barcelona, Barca s Ilaix Moriba 2-L in action against Dennis Suarez 2-R of Celta during the Spanish LaLiga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Celta Vigo held at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, 16 May 2021. FC Barcelona vs Celta Vigo ACHTUNG: NUR REDAKTIONELLE NUTZUNG PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xAlejandroxGarciax GRAFCAT3255 20210516-637567903410938159

Should The Blues Launch A Move For Moriba This Summer?

Moriba can use his quickness to make some clever runs with the ball from midfield and can get stuck in with a few solid tackles to earn the ball back for his team. He has a good passing range as well and can keep possession ticking without breaking a sweat at the centre of the park.

The Spanish wonderkid can even shoot the ball with power from long range but is still quite raw and would need time to be a more consistent performer in top-flight football. Even then, there is no denying that Moriba is a talented footballer who could enjoy playing in Thomas Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 system at Stamford Bridge in the coming seasons.

At 18, the Barca midfield ace has the potential to become one of the best players in European football. Therefore, Chelsea would be wise to engineer a move to bring the seven-time Spain Under-17 international to the English capital this summer. Moriba is already good enough to fight for a regular starting place at the West London club and will undoubtedly increase competition for places within Thomas Tuchel’s squad in the coming seasons.

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