Friday, August 12, 2022

Barcelona Inching Closer To Recruiting This Chelsea Veteran: Should Xavi Snap Him Up?

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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, AS mentioned that Barcelona are inching closer to recruiting Chelsea veteran Cesar Azpilicueta. It has been claimed that the Catalan giants are closing in on sealing a move for the Spanish full-back who has just got a year left to run in his contract at Stamford Bridge.

Azpilicueta’s Impressive Season At Stamford Bridge

Azpilicueta played a prominent role in Thomas Tuchel’s squad in the previous campaign and managed to produce a run of solid displays for Chelsea over the past 10 months. The Spanish talent played in 47 matches for the Blues last season, scoring three times and grabbing three assists across multiple competitions.

The 32-year-old deserves a lot of credit for averaging 1.9 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 2.3 clearances and 0.6 key passes per game in Premier League football. He was even accurate when distributing possession from the back after completing 85.7% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Barcelona (Xavi)
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 10: Xavi Hernandez, Head Coach of FC Barcelona gives their team instructions during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona and RC Celta de Vigo at Camp Nou on May 10, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/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/)

Should Barcelona Boss Xavi Snap Azpilicueta Up This Summer?

Azpilicueta can still be a solid presence on the defensive end of the field as he is usually quick to spot the danger and can work hard to secure the ball back for his team. The Chelsea veteran can operate in both full-back positions or as a central defender if needed.

The Spanish sensation can create some decent openings for his teammates in the opponent’s half but has lacked productivity in the final third last season.

Still, there is no doubt that a full-back of Azpilicueta’s experience and winning mindset will be a decent option for Barcelona head coach Xavi to pursue this summer. He will bring more bite and steel to Barca‘s backline and increase competition for places within their match-day squad.

At 32, the Spaniard might still have a few good years left in him to play at his best. Thus, the Catalan outfit should consider snapping him up before the end of this transfer window as he could help them bridge the gap to Real Madrid at the top of the La Liga table and maybe, even compete for a major trophy next season.

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