Friday, September 29, 2023

Barcelona Were Showing Interest In This Atletico Madrid Defender: Should Xavi Go Back 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 report, Marca stated that Barcelona were showing interest in Atletico Madrid defender Nahuel Molina earlier this year. It is understood that the Catalan club were eyeing a move for the Argentine talent but they opted to sign Joao Cancelo in the recently concluded transfer window.

Molina’s Decent Numbers In Spanish Football Last Season

Molina had an impressive campaign at the Madrid club as he put in a series of impressive displays on the right side of their defence. The Embalse-born talent found the back of the net on four occasions and earned four assists in 43 matches for Diego Simeone’s side last season across all fronts.

The 25-year-old was a decent performer in both halves and deserves credit for averaging 2.1 tackles, 0.5 interceptions, 1.4 clearances, 0.6 shots, 1.2 key passes and 0.6 dribbles per 90 minutes in La Liga. He even distributed the ball relatively well from the right flank after completing 79.4% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at Atletico Madrid will run out in the summer of 2027. Thus, Barcelona would have to make a convincing offer if they decide to go back in for him in the future.

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – SEPTEMBER 7: Nahuel Molina of Argentina kicks the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier match between Argentina and Ecuador at Estadio M·s Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on September 7, 2023 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

Should Barcelona Boss Xavi Go Back For Molina?

Molina can get stuck in with some solid tackles and can make a few important interceptions for his side on the defensive third of the pitch. He usually puts his foot through the ball when needed and can even engineer a handful of promising chances for his teammates from the right flank.

The Argentine talent is primarily a right-back but can even fill in as a right-sided winger if asked to do so. At 25, he has his best years ahead of him as long as he continues to improve with each season.

Molina would have added more quality to Barcelona boss Xavi’s defence. However, the Barca boss decided to sign Joao Cancelo on loan instead earlier this summer.

Hence, it makes no sense for the Catalan club to move in for Molina this January. Xavi would be better off strengthening some of the other areas of his match-day squad at the Nou Camp. However, Barca should definitely consider going back in for Molina if they fail to retain Cancelo’s services beyond next summer.

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