Tuesday, 13 May 2008

How things stand: Attacking midfielders

(at the end of the season, Barça Transfer Zone looks forward to the coming transfer summer making an analysis for each position, in part 6 we look at the attacking midfielders)

Looking at the numbers, Xavi was clearly the central figure in this department over the almost past season. The three pairs who played the most this years in official games are Xavi-Iniesta (17 starts), Xavi-Deco (16 starts) and Xavi-Gudjohnsen (15 starts).

Iniesta (24) will certainly stay and although Xavi (28) has recently been linked with Chelsea, it can be expected that he won't leave either. Depending on the tactical choices of new Barcelona manager Guardiola, both players could be pulled back a line.

Deco (30) and Gudjohnsen (29) look like they're on their way out, although both players don't seem very enthusiastic about the idea. Especially Deco could play it hard and only leave under his conditions. Deco has been linked with Bayern, Milan, Inter, Juventus, Newcastle and Atlético Madrid. Gudjohnsen is rumoured to be on the lists of Portsmouth and Newcastle.

Many names are circling around for these positions but none of them is really sticking out at this moment. Players that have been mentioned are, amongst others, Cesc (Arsenal - 20), Diego (Bremen - 23), Aquilani (Roma - 23), Lampard (Chelsea - 29), Hleb (Arsenal - 27), Van der Vaart (Hamburg - 25) and Lucho (Porto - 27).

Read all How things stand contributions here or read the contribution about:
Goal keeper - Right back defender - Central defenders - Left back defender - Defensive midfielder - Attacking midfielders - Wing attackers - Centre forward


Anonymous said...

Next to shoring up the defensive backfield this position is the most critical one that needs to be filled imo. Wether Barca decide to hold onto both Iniesta and Xavi is another matter. But its clear that (for whatever reason), these players do not mesh well together. Each player seems to perform better when the other is not on the pitch. The dilema being that they are the two best midfielders currently on the team...If it came down to "losing" one or the other I would let Xavi go because I believe he's pretty much reached his fullest potential and he is older than Iniesta. I feel Iniesta has only scratched the surface of what he is capable of. Regardless if they BOTH stay I would still ardently pursue Diego because unlike Xavi he's going to press forward more and probe the defense's backline. To me Xavi is more of a "holding" midfielder with Iniesta more of an attacking option. Diego would be the ideal player to bridge the central midfield to the wingers up front. I would then have Iniesta and Diego as my "forward" midfielders with Xavi playing behind them. If Yaya stays he remains the defensive midfielder and the 4-3-3 alignment stays the same. However if we were lucky enough to get Essien or Veloso you could play either a 4-3-3 or 3-4-3 alignment because Essien and Veloso also have the capacity to play the ball forward as well (much better than Toure can.) So I could see them "sliding" closer to Xavi in central midfield at certain times during the game if needed.

Anonymous said...

Cesc & Diego are the best players who will fit in the barca style BUT I'm sure cesc is not going to leave arsenal and wenger, SO the best option is diego...

Anonymous said...

Need someone who can cross as well

Anonymous said...

hmm.. I would love to see some more dynamism in the midfield. I agree whole heartedly with anonymous that xavi and iniesta cant play well together.. THey both need too much of the ball to be effective and they are wasted whn played in that second midfield line. I think you drop xavi back to a holding spot and push iniesta up into a more attacking midfield role alongside a real midfield dynamo in the michael ballack/essien/veloso mold such that you are always attacking with two central midfielders going foward and xavi staying back, and conversely defending with xavi and essien droping back leaving iniesta foward to drop in one of his delightful through balls on a quick counter. I think Barca VERY MUCH need a left winger that is ready right NOW. Bojan is the foward of the future and I would like to see him compete with henry for this spot ( what a mentor he would be for the fleet footed bojan) ably supported off the bench by gudjonsen and a barca b palyer . Eto'o and Ronaldinho need to go !!!!!!! one has no professional discipline and the other's football skills cant compete with his mouth or his ego.. and that's saying something because he is a fine footballer.

Anonymous said...

i like ribery

Anonymous said...

Ribery has stated he and his family are quite comfortable at Bayern. And with Klinsmann coming in I don't see many (if any) Bayern players going anywhere anytime soon, with the possible exception of Sagnol.

Custom Search
Custom Search