Monday, October 2, 2023

Barcelona Would Have To Pay €60m For This Villarreal Playmaker: Good Choice For Xavi?

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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, Fichajes claimed that Barcelona would have to pay €60m for Villarreal playmaker Alex Baena. It is unclear whether the Catalan club are open to meeting the Yellow Submarine’s price tag for their prized asset this summer.

Baena’s Impressive Rise In La Liga

Baena enjoyed a fruitful season at Villarreal as he managed to put in a series of impressive performances for them in the final third. The 21-year-old banged in 12 goals and grabbed six assists in 48 matches for the Spanish club in the previous campaign on all fronts.

The Spanish Under-21 international has been a consistent performer in the opponent’s half based on his average of 1.8 shots, 0.9 key passes and 0.8 dribbles per 90 minutes in La Liga. He has even been tidy when distributing the ball on the attacking end of the field, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 81.6% in league football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at the Spanish club is set to expire in the summer of 2028. Hence, Barcelona would have no choice but to meet Villarreal’s hefty price tag if they are serious about landing Baena this summer.

Alex Baena
VILLARREAL, SPAIN – MAY 13: Alex Baena of Villarreal CF celebrates after scoring the team’s first goal during the LaLiga Santander match between Villarreal CF and Athletic Club at Estadio de la Ceramica on May 13, 2023 in Villarreal, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Is Baena A Good Choice For Barcelona Boss Xavi?

Baena can create space for himself to get a few strikes in on-target. He has got the vision to engineer a few promising chances for his teammates and is a great dribbler with the ball at his feet.

The Spanish talent is a good passer of the ball as well. He is primarily an attacking midfielder but can also fill in as a winger on either flank if needed.

We can expect Baena to add more firepower to Barcelona boss Xavi’s attack. He is good enough to increase competition for places within Barca‘s match-day squad. Hence, the Villarreal youngster would be a decent choice for the Catalan club to consider in the long run as he could help them compete for a lot of major honours over the next decade.

At 21, the future looks quite bright for the talented prospect. However, Xavi would have to be patient with his progress if he wants to unlock the best out of Baena at the Nou Camp.

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