Sunday, November 27, 2022

Barcelona Wanted To Land This Arsenal Defender: Should Xavi Go Back In 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 tweet, renowned journalist Fabrizio Romano claimed that Barcelona wanted to land Arsenal defender William Saliba recently. It is understood that the Catalan giants were showing interest in recruiting the French centre-half earlier this year.

Saliba’s Impressive Run Of Form At North London This Season

The 21-year-old has made an excellent start to this Premier League campaign as he has been responsible for giving a good account of himself at the heart of Mikel Arteta’s defence. Saliba has featured in eight matches for the Gunners this season, netting two goals and grabbing one assist across all fronts.

The Bondy-born talent has been a rock at the back for Arsenal based on his average of 1.6 tackles, 0.5 interceptions and 3.1 clearances per 90 minutes in the Premier League. He has even been excellent with his ball distribution after making 93.5% of his attempted passes in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at the Emirates Stadium is set to run out in the summer of 2024. Hence, Barca might have a shot at recruiting him for a cut-price fee at the end of this campaign if the player refuses to pen a new contract by then.

Nou Camp
Nou Camp

Should Barcelona Boss Xavi Go Back In For Saliba This Summer?

Saliba is a tough-tackling defender who can time his challenges well to earn the ball back for his team on the defensive third of the pitch. He doesn’t mind putting his foot through the ball when needed and can use his strong 1.92m frame to dominate the opposition attackers in the air. The seven-time France international is also proficient at playing his way out from the back but is still quite inexperienced at the highest level.

We can expect Saliba to add more bite and steel to Xavi‘s defence at the Nou Camp if the Barca boss can somehow find a way to get him on board next summer.

At 21, the Arsenal prospect has still got a lot of room to grow as a footballer. Thus, Saliba would be a good option for the Catalan club to consider at the end of this campaign. He will be a great signing for Barcelona in the long run as he is already good enough to help them challenge across multiple competitions.

With all things considered, Xavi should focus on going back in for Saliba if the player declines to pen a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.

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