Friday, September 29, 2023

Barcelona Identify This Veteran Forward As A Target: Does Xavi Need 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, journalist Josep Capdevila mentioned that Barcelona have identified Alexis Sanchez as a target for this summer transfer window. It has been revealed that Barca are eyeing the Chilean star as a replacement for Ousmane Dembele this summer.

Sanchez’s Impressive Record In French Football Last Season

Sanchez is currently a free agent but had a decent campaign at Olympique Marseille recently as he put in a run of productive displays for them up top. The 34-year-old participated in 44 matches for the French outfit last season, scoring 18 times and earning three assists in the process across multiple competitions.

The veteran attacker gave a good account of himself in the final third by averaging 1.9 shots, 1.6 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per game in Bundesliga. However, he lacked quality when distributing the ball in the opponent’s half based on his pass completion rate of 75.8% in the German top-flight (stats via whoscored).

As mentioned earlier, Sanchez is a free agent this summer and could be a good, short-term option for Barcelona to consider ahead of the new campaign.

Alexis Sanchez
Chile’s forward Alexis Sanchez celebrates at the end of the friendly football match between Chile and Republica Dominicana at the Sausalito Stadium in Vina del Mar, Chile, on June 16, 2023. (Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP) (Photo by MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP via Getty Images)

Does Barcelona Boss Xavi Need Sanchez?

Sanchez is a decent dribbler with the ball and has got the vision to orchestrate a few promising chances for his teammates in the final third. He can shoot the ball with accuracy from long range and has still got a lot of goals and assists in him. Sanchez is primarily a centre-forward but can also function as a winger on either flank if told to do so.

However, only time will tell whether the Chile international can maintain his good form in La Liga if Barcelona boss Xavi decides to bring him back to the Nou Camp.

Sanchez will add more goals and creativity to the Catalan club‘s attack. Furthermore, he is a free agent which makes him a great, cost-effective option for Barca to pursue in this off-season.

With all things considered, Xavi can definitely use a player of Sanchez’s experience and skillset as he looks to build a strong squad capable of sustaining another title charge next season. However, at 34, father time is catching up with Sanchez which makes him a risky choice for Barcelona this summer.

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