Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Barcelona Identify This Valencia Midfielder As A Target: What Will He Add To Xavi’s Side?

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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 print edition, AS mentioned that Barcelona have identified Valencia midfielder, Carlos Soler, as a target for this summer transfer window. It has been claimed that Barca are lining up the Spanish midfield ace as a replacement for Frenkie de Jong, who is on Manchester United’s radar this summer.

Soler’s Good Run Of Form In Spanish Football

Soler enjoyed a decent campaign at the Mestalla Stadium after putting in a handful of solid displays at the heart of Valencia’s midfield. The 25-year-old featured in 38 matches for the Spanish club last season, finding the back of the net 12 times and securing five assists in all competitions.

The nine-time Spain international was a consistent performer at the centre of the park after he averaged 1.3 shots, 1.7 key passes, 1.3 crosses and 0.6 dribbles per game in La Liga. However, he needs to work on improving his ball distribution, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 74.4% in the top tier of Spanish football (stats via whoscored).

Barcelona (Xavi)
Barcelona’s Spanish coach Xavi reacts from the sidelines during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final, first-leg football match Eintracht Frankfurt v FC Barcelona in Frankfurt, western Germany on April 7, 2022. (Photo by DANIEL ROLAND/AFP via Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

What Will Soler Add To Barcelona Boss Xavi’s Side?

Soler can offer decent protection for his teammates at the back but is more renowned for his offensive skill set. He can shoot the ball accurately and with power from long range. Soler is primarily a central midfielder but can also fill in as a winger on either flank if required.

The Spanish sensation has got the vision to play a killer pass in the opponent’s half and can even make a few clever runs with the ball going forward. However, he needs to work on improving his passing in the opposition half.

We can expect Soler to add a lot of energy and dynamism to Barca head coach Xavi‘s midfield department at the Nou Camp. He could go on to form a good midfield partnership with Sergio Busquets and Pedri at the Catalan club.

More importantly, Soler will be a decent replacement for Frenkie de Jong if Xavi ends up losing his star midfielder this summer. At 25, the Spaniard’s best years are ahead of him which makes him a good signing for Barca to pull off this summer.

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