Friday, March 31, 2023

Barcelona Defender Close To Joining Tottenham Hotspur On Loan: Should Xavi Cut Him Loose?

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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, Football Espana mentioned that Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet is close to joining Tottenham Hotspur on loan this summer. It is believed that the Catalan club are eager to let the French centre-back leave with Spurs inching closer to completing a loan deal for him in this off-season.

Lenglet’s Limited Playing Time At The Nou Camp Last Season

Lenglet served as a sporadic presence in Xavi’s squad but deserves some credit for putting in some solid displays at the back in the previous campaign. The 27-year-old featured in 26 matches for the Catalan club last season, securing one assist in all competitions.

The French talent made most of his league appearances as a substitute which explains why he only averaged 1.0 tackles, 0.6 interceptions and 0.9 clearances per game in La Liga. He was accurate when distributing possession from the back, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 91% in the top tier of Spanish football (stats via whoscored).

Barcelona (Clement Lenglet)
Barcelona’s defender Clement Lenglet waits prior a training session in Munich, southern Germany on December 7, 2021, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League Group E football match FC Bayern Munich vs FC Barcelona. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
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Should Barcelona Xavi Cut Him Lenglet Loose?

Lenglet can be a solid presence at the back when he is playing regularly and with confidence on the pitch. He is a decent tackler of the ball and can sense the danger quickly to make a few vital interceptions inside his half.

The French sensation doesn’t hesitate to clear his lines when required and excels at playing his way out from the back. However, he is currently surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp as he has fallen behind Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia in Xavi’s pecking order.

Therefore, Barcelona can afford to cut Lenglet loose during this summer transfer period in the hopes that he can come back from his loan spell as a better version of himself at the end of next season.

His current contract with the Catalan giants is set to expire in the summer of 2026, so there is no immediate need for Barca to let him go permanently this summer. An impressive loan spell at Tottenham could hand the player a route back into Xavi’s first team next year and also increase his chances to feature in the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar.

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