Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Barcelona Have Identified This Villareal Forward In Their Pursuit Of A Striker: Decent Fit For Xavi?

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Ankit Seth
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In a recent report from Express, it was stated that Barcelona have identified Villareal forward Gerard Moreno as an alternative for Robert Lewandowski if they fail to acquire the Polish striker this summer. The Catalan giants are in dire need of reinforcements and the Villareal sensation could prove to be a potential target. This surprising turn of events comes as a huge blow to Manchester United who were also in pursuit of him.

Moreno’s Impressive Campaign for Villareal This Season

Moreno has enjoyed a solid campaign as he managed to produce a handful of influential displays for Villareal in the final third. The 30-year-old has appeared in 24 matches for the Spanish side this season, scoring 12 goals and providing 7 assists across all fronts.

The Spain-born sensation has proven to be a consistent performer in the attacking end of the field by averaging 2.2 shots, 1.8 key passes and 2.3 dribbles per 90 minutes in the La Liga. However, he has been poor with his ball distribution after only making 69.4% of his attempted passes in the Spanish top tier (stats via whoscored).

Gerard Moreno linked to Barcelona
VILLARREAL, SPAIN – MAY 03: Gerard Moreno of Villareal FC runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final Leg Two match between Villarreal and Liverpool at Estadio de la Ceramica on May 03, 2022, in Villarreal, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/).

Is The Villareal Forward A Decent Fit For Barcelona Boss Xavi Hernandez?

Moreno has transformed himself into a good finisher in front of his opponent’s goal. He excels in making space for himself by dribbling past defenders, which is aided by his impressive ball skills. He can confidently convert the chances created for him by his teammates.

The Spanish marksman is primarily a striker but can also play on either side of the wing, being versatile on the attacking front. He can even engineer some meaningful openings for his teammates on the attacking end of the field. However, his ball distribution remains poor considering Barcelona’s playstyle. He would need to work up his passing if he wishes to adapt to the Spanish giants comfortably.

The Spain international would no doubt add more depth to the squad with his experience. At 30, he still has a few years of high-level football ahead of him and can make the best out of his appearances at the Nou Camp. Considering the financial complications at Barcelona, Moreno would be a viable option for Xavi this summer.

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