Friday, September 29, 2023

Barcelona Identify This La Liga Midfielder As A Target: Should Xavi Get Him On Board?

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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, journalist Bernard Soler claimed that Barcelona have identified Villarreal defender Sergi Darder as a target for the summer transfer window. It has been stated that the Catalan club are eyeing a move to acquire the services of the Spanish midfield ace in this off-season.

Darder’s Impressive Form In Spanish Football

Darder proved his worth as a reliable performer at the heart of Espanyol’s midfield in the previous campaign. He did well to score seven goals and earn four assists in 41 matches for the Spanish club last season on all fronts.

The 29-year-old has been a positive influence at both ends of the field based on his average of 1.8 tackles, 0.6 interceptions, 0.6 clearances, 1.0 shots, 1.9 key passes and 1.8 dribbles per 90 minutes in La Liga. He has even distributed the ball relatively well after making 78.5% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at the Spanish club will run out in the summer of 2026. Hence, it won’t be easy for Barca to snap him up in this off-season.

Sergi Darder
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 14: Sergi Darder of RCD Espanyol looks dejected during the LaLiga Santander match between RCD Espanyol and FC Barcelona at RCDE Stadium on May 14, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Should Barcelona Boss Xavi Get Darder On Board?

Darder loves a tackle and can make some timely interceptions for his team when he is playing with confidence on the pitch. He usually clears the danger when needed and can also make a few decent chances for his teammates in the final third. The Spaniard is a decent dribbler with the ball and can strike the ball with power and precision from long range. He is primarily a box-to-box midfielder but can also fill in as a defensive midfielder or play in the number ten position if told to do so by his manager.

Someone with Darder’s skillset will be a good addition to Barca‘s squad ahead of the new campaign. He would serve as an ideal replacement for Sergio Busquets at the Nou Camp. The Spanish sensation already knows La Liga well by now and is well-equipped to make an instant impact at Catalunya.

We can expect Darder to add more quality and depth to Xavi’s midfield department and help the Catalan club challenge for some major trophies over the next few years. Hence, it makes sense for Barcelona to go all out in pursuit of Darder’s services during this summer transfer window.

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