People We Should Sign

So, someone asked me to do a Silly Season post and, you know what? Let’s do this.

Priority A #1:

A serious left back prospect. There has been talk of Fabio Coentrão, but besides the obvious interest from Madrid, there’s no way we can get him. With his funny tilde (that’s a ~) over his last name’s a, I would have to copy and paste so much that it would make learning how to spell Chygrynskiy look like a simple piece of work. I mean, Coent¿¡Ñäáo works, but not Coentrão. Barça is hard enough to make since I have to use the stupid alt+0231 code.

So we’re left with, I don’t know, Bartra or something. Oh and Eric Motherfunking Abidal. Works for me.

Attacking midfielders:

We only have like 4, so let’s buy more and, uh, play them all at once. Puyol will have to retire soon, so let’s invest in the future and start to play a 1-8-1 with just Villa up front and everyone else within the center circle. Thiago? Get in there, son. Cesc? In. Jonathan dos Santos? Studs flying, mijo. Victor Sanchez? Hell, let’s do it. Hleb? Get out my damned sight.

Up front:

This guy:

By Isaiah

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in the greater Philadelphia area.


  1. I wouldn’t take Yaya back now, he is not really needed, we have prooven we can do without him.

    Its true he was one of the few players we had that could come into the midfield and replace Xavi and Iniesta and we didn’t lose our attacking force. We can see now that Yaya’s true position is an attacking one, and a position that Pep couldn’t guarantee Yaya regular starts, and in his last season with us I remember he had a slow start and was inconsistent the rest of the time, he was losing motivation and his fitness dipped, so I guess it was the right choice to sell him.

  2. I for one am quite happy with the moves other Spanish teams have been doing so far. Dani Parejo to Valencia makes perfect sense while Malaga is making quite some noise in signing RVN and are now even in talks with Jeremy Toulalan, all quality players.

  3. I tend to agree, I rate yaya higher than Busi and Masch Mazch is prolly more versatile and the squad seems to love Busi )who would be better for our squad over the next 10 years). But the fact that we in essance got a 2 for 1 (Busi starting and Masch brought in) was great. Plus Busi and Yaya are two totally different animals, Yaya, a destroyer and Busi a super deep lying playmaker!!!!

  4. Keeping an extra eye on Rossi because of all the speculation and watched some highlights of Italy-Estonia. Only Estonia, but I must say, Rossi looked really good. Scored one and hit another off the post. He really knows how to move into space and his combination play is great.

  5. I was reading a peice and they seem to think that Coentaro will play RB and hook up with Di Maria, as they did in Portugal for Benafica(?). The thing is, neither of them have anything close to a right foot. According to the article, this would leave Marcelo and Ronaldo and Marcelo on the left and push Ramos to CB to partner with Pepe or Carvahelo. Very interesting way to get your best players on the field.

    1. Yeah I read that to.I think its more of an El Classico lineup Mou is trying to figure out. With Carvahlo and Ramos as CB, Pepe being the DM and Marcelo and Coentaro flanking to link up with thongboy and Di maria.

  6. Now reading that we are rumored to have agreed a fee for Alexis Sanchez in the region of 27mil euros. Idk how to feel on this.

    1. I’ve just read Zubi has stopped all negotiations for the time being, cause’ of the outrageous asking prices of some players when it comes to make an agreement with Barça.

      I don’t think we’ll offer 27M for Sanchez, I don’t think Sanchez or Kun are on Pep’s agenda, I think he’s looking for an impact sub, or so it says here…

      I think Rossi and then William, are in the mainstream agenda, I like Rossi, he would be a good signing for us I believe.
      I read from Martin Perarnau and Cristian Pulina that if we get Rossi, Bojan or Jeffren will go (probably a cesion or a sell with a buy-buck clause), and if we get Cesc we wont need a center back, cause Cesc can play midfield defender (his jersey nr 4 is saved by pep for him they say, and he will teach him what he needs to learn to play in that position) so Masche could be the prefered centerback subbing for puyol, the nro 12 player. Rossi should be the first signing, then a negotiation for cesc, if they accept the offered amount we sign him, if they don’t maybe we’ll wait for cesc to do something, if he doesn’t maybe we try to get a good centerback, sakho or thiago silva from milan. That would be an excellent silly season story, I wish to know what squad we’ll have on august already! I wish the club accomplish the wanted signings before pre-season, that would be great wouldn’t?! all the squad training since july 18 I think, well all of them who dont play in the copa america (I think Messi, Mascherano, Alves and Adriano) If Adriano starts on the left for!

  7. Wow, 27 is a good price for what has been quoted recently About the same we are rumored to be willing to pay for Rossi. The difference is, we seem to be the only one heavily linked with Rossi, while teasms in England, Italy and Spain all want Sanchez. In my heart I like Rossi, as he can play all over the front line Sanchez, is younger and has more potential (maybe). It may be a pipe dream, But if er loan Bojan and sell Jeffren, maybe we bring them both in for 55m. That leaves us next year to get Cesc for 35 and a 15m defender.

  8. I almost just had a heart attack watching sanchez clips on youtube, he is so perfect for our system. A true right footed left wing, that will do excatly what messi does from the left. He has mastered that “messi shot” cutting in at the top of the box from the left and blast an 18 yarder. Also he has Dive Maria’s speed and foot skills but does not lose control of it like his EE counterpart. Finally, can you imagine him linking up wit Iniesta in the left!!!!!! EPIC. Dare I sat the interchange will be Messi/Alves esque. I love how we can make 1-2 changes to our lineup and become even better it’s surreal, while EE has to overhaul their rodter with 5-7 changes each year just to come in second.!!!!

    Can Euler or someone tell me who would fit better, Rossi/Sanchez? And why they fit?

    1. Alexi for me, without doubt. He has alway been a talent to watch but after the worldcup performane and this season at udinese, the boy is blooming Rossi is not bad at all though.

      My attitude toward the whole transfer thing is simple: No matter who we buy, we’ll expet a better squad than a Liga and CL winner we witnessed this season. Nothing to complain about I guess.

  9. And for the record, I want give Mascherano for Yaya+10 M. As a holding midfielder, sMach is way better. Barca fans never agreed with me on that, but its still a fact for me.

    In the other hand, Busquets-Mascherano is a better combo to have than Busquets-Yaya. The first offer you more diversity while in the other -at its best- there is more redundancy.

    Now as a CM, It always strikes me when someone get surprised how good Yaya is as a CM. He played there most his games with the national team. I’d been demanding using him in Keita’s role for years. And thats where I may not mind seeing him, in Keita’s role. Though its really tough not to stay loyal to Keita who is a certain quality in what he does for Barca, while Yaya is a promising quality.

    But what decides it all is that both Mascherano and Keita proved being more secure as team players and better fit for the dressing room.

    So with all respect to Yaya’s history with our club -and I am his fan as anyone can be- we are better with those we have.

    1. Now as a CM, It always strikes me when someone get surprised how good Yaya is as a CM. He played there most his games with the national team. I’d been demanding using him in Keita’s role for years.

      I’ve been saying the same thing you have for probably the same amount of time. Before Eriksson took over the Ivory Coast job, Zokora was the holding midfielder and Yaya was in an advanced role. He did the same for Monaco when Laurent Banide took over.

      In the beginning of the Premier League season, English journos kept saying Man City were playing with 3 DMs, which wasn’t true. Then they questioned Yaya’s ability to play in an advanced position. I had to correct so many journos on twitter and finally during the last month of the season, they admitted they were wrong and it became fashionable to praise Yaya. Some clueless ones even credit Mancini as the one who introduced Yaya to that position. Yeah, sure.

  10. Keeping an extra eye on Rossi because of all the speculation and watched some highlights of Italy-Estonia. Only Estonia, but I must say, Rossi looked really good. Scored one and hit another off the post. He really knows how to move into space and his combination play is great.

    Moving into space is the key to Rossi’s game. And he’s brilliant at it. He has very good touch, quick feet and finishes very well (as that shot he scored on yesterday showed).

    But it’s Rossi’s utilization of space which is the best part of his game and what he’d really add Barca. We do not have a striker similar to Rossi right now.

    There’s a very good argument to get Sanchez instead as Sanchez is a brilliant player as well. But that doesn’t take anything away from Rossi. Rossi and Sanchez are just different.

    I think Rossi is being underestimated by some cules because his game is much more subtle than that of most strikers.

    He’s a tremendous footballer.

    This was also interesting from Sport (via Barcastuff):

    barcastuff barcastuff
    Guardiola has told the club that -with Puyol, Pique, Abidal, Fontas, Mascherano and Busquets- there’s no need to sign a centre-back. [sport]

    If this is true – and to date there’s been very little talk about a CB, not even much on Botia – then I do think it’s likely that Pep may again make a serious effort to try to bring Cesc back and play him in the holding position.

    Busquets and Masch can’t really function as CB depth in this fashion unless the team has another holding player – and that’s not Thiago or Afellay.

    Pep’s envisioned Cesc playing the 4 for Barca for a long time.

    1. Sport writes that we’re after Fabregas, Sanchez and Rossi. Suppose we get the three of them… How will they fit in? They can’t all play in the 1st team.

      So… Busquets is out if Fabregas comes?

    2. I doubt we’ll get all 3 of them, Whatever. At the most, it’ll be Cesc and either Sanchez or Rossi. Still don’t think we’re signing Cesc, but if we aren’t going for a central defender, then I’m leaning towards Euler’s thinking and guessing Pep wants Cesc as the holding midfielder.

      Busquets out-you mean sold or to the bench?

    3. Busquets on the bench, Fabregas in his place. I wouldn’t do that… Busquets really is a spectacular footballer. But in Pep we trust.

    4. Why would Busquets be out, Whatever?

      In my opinion, he’s irreplaceable. He’s the best DM of his kind. I think that Cesc would be rotated for Xavi and even Iniesta. Busquets to me is the player closest to being Xavi and doing the Xavi role, many years from now. Cesc is closer to being Iniesta as he has a more attacking flair.

      But most players’ positions are so fluid that Busi and Pique even go high up and everyone else falls back to cover for them when they do so. Masch carried the ball from near our goal all the way up to where Dani/Pedro normally lurks. It really confuses our opponents.

      Anyway, just saying that Busquets will never be out. No matter who comes in. If we are retaining the style of play that we have now, that is.

    5. I agree with you. To me, Busquets is irreplaceable. I was referring to what Euler was saying above… If I understood him correctly, our middle line would be Iniesta – Fabregas – Xavi instead of Iniesta – Busquets – Xavi.

      Fabregas would be a great addition, but he doesn’t really have a place in our 1st team (if all are healthy). He could place in the place of Iniesta, while moving the latter to LW. But then Villa or Pedro are out.

    6. If this is true – and to date there’s been very little talk about a CB, not even much on Botia – then I do think it’s likely that Pep may again make a serious effort to try to bring Cesc back and play him in the holding position.

      Busquets and Masch can’t really function as CB depth in this fashion unless the team has another holding player – and that’s not Thiago or Afellay.

      That’s been my argument every time someone says we can just use Mascherano at CB next season. What if Busi gets hurt? Mascherano will need to play DM, he won’t be able to play CB.

      It’ll be a real shame if we don’t at least buy back Botia and give him preseason to see what he can do. I’ll be very disappointed with Pep and co. One of La Liga’s better CBs for 2 years now available for 2m and you pass that up? Sorry, but I don’t understand.

    7. I guess we can, it’s 3 years, right? But I just think he’s needed now, not later.

  11. Actually, Euler, the season before his last (at PSV) Ibi played as a holding midfielder. The coach’s decision to do so was widely criticized in Holland not due to Ibi playing badly in that position but because the team lacked creativity with Ibi playing so far back.

    I still agree with you that I don’t want him as a defensive mid at Barça, though.

    1. Lev,

      I recall that – when PSV moved Ibi to the holding position. I know he has experience there – but it didn’t seem to work out all that well for them for the reasons you pointed out with them lacking creativity (just look at how poorly they did this season after Ibi was sold).

      I don’t get the sense that pep wants him at the holding position – if they do that they they lose depth on the flank.

      The fundamental problem is that they simply do not have enough players. It’s just math.

      Their players are all multi-faceted and can play multiple positions because they are tremendous all around footballers.

      But they just don’t have enough of them to get through a long season. And next year will be even more grueling.

      They need a squad of at least 22 regular first team players.

      And they need to get a CB. They really do. Two of the three year Peps been in charge they’ve run out of CBs by the end of the season.

      Sure Busi can fill in at CB but while a pairing of him and Abidal may be ok Busi and Pique is not a good situation as they are just too slow.

      They need a CB with some pace. If they dont’ add that player this summer I will be very concerned going into next season.

      They barely got by this season.

    2. I doubt they’ll sign a CB. Guardiola said he doesn’t need one. They’ll probably sign a LB.

    3. If they’re not getting a CB – I guess we are moving Abi to CB so we have Puyi, Pique, Fontas and Abi for that position.

      We’re buying an LB – so we’ll have Adriano and new guy. And maybe we’ll groom Ibi for that post as well.

      Cesc will rotate with Xavi and Ini. We have Busi and Masch for the DM.

      Then we’re buying a forward who will rotate with Villa and Pedro.

      Think I’m satisfied with this. Once we have really great subs for Xavi and Ini (Cesc) and for Villa and Pedro (Sanchez or Rossi), we’re ready for next season. Between Fontas, Puyi, Pique and Abi for CB – we should be okay. I do hope we buy Botia too.

  12. We already played 2 champions league finals with a defensive midfielders in our line up (Yaya 2009 and now Masche)..Last year we played vs Arsenal with 2 out of form CBs (Marquez and Milito)..this year again we faced Arsenal with Busi as a CB..We did well and always beat the our opponents but we really need to address this issue for good..We need to have 4 main CBs…Just imagine Busquets and Puyol (which could happen again next year) being injured..then we’ll use Masche as DM and will only have Abi, Pique and Fontas as CBs..a team like Barça needs more depth

  13. I dont think we should believe everything we read, whether its about Pep not wanting a CB or Pep wanting Cesc.

    1) The discussions about where to use Cesc is more than enough to show we shouldnt buy him. A great player. But you usually check what you need and buy per se. You dont buy and they scratch your head trying to figure where to use him. Unless if its a dressing room demand backed by political need (or the other way), there is no reason for Pep to approve getting him.

    2) Deciding what player to buy depend on different things. Transfer approach will be based on different scenarios, depending on who is available and for an affordable price. You can bet most of the players who are on Pep’s wishlist are not tranfer targets because the club cant get them for different reasons. Thats where the “If we sign this we go for that, but if we sign another we dont” roadmap take place.

    At the moment, still impossible to know which path we will take. The first player we sign can tell a lot about whats coming next.

  14. WOW.Just WOW!

    Poll result: “Who do you prefer at Barça, Cesc or Thiago?” Cesc 16% – Thiago 84% [el mundo deportivo]

    I guess the local folks prefer Thiago than their Catalan son. Hehe.
    But I’m still upset that Thiago is demanding playing time if Cesc comes here. He just got promoted and already demanding. Why not slug it out?!
    What do you think my main man Euler? Would you prefer Thiago to stay or Cesc to come and satisfy Pep but have a grumble Thiago and a possibility of Thiago moving on…

    @Ramzi on Yaya. I feel that Yaya-Busi midfield is more suitable. BUsi is a deep lying player while Yaya can roam forward, a box to box player. You even said it yourself that you see him as a Keita type of player. BUt yet you think that Busi-sMasch is a better combo. Both of them are deep lying players. So how would that work?

    1. Oh and regarding Sanchez vs. ROssi.
      I see a similarity between the Villa vs. Ibra rumors back in the beautiful summer of 2008.

      A lot of fans were creaming their pants at the thought of Ibra because of obvious reasons; his skills, height, shot etc.
      But I was really behind Villa’s move all along. Ibra is definitely the better player individually but Villa would definitely bring more to the team that what Ibra could offer. That’s why I was going so nuts emailing the Barca board with a similar message 😆

      Sanchez may have a better potential and skills and what not but I find that Rossi would give us something extra, something useful.

    2. * Busquets can do everything Yaya can as a CM and more. And he is younger. Thats where the Yaya busquets combo creaes redundancy.
      * As a holding midfielder, Mascherano is the distroyer that neither Busquets nor yaya is. His workrate is better than thats of Yaya and so as his positioning and decesion making.


      As for Vila Vs Ibra. You have a short memory. In fact everyone was demanding Vila over Ibra (beside minority that includes me-and maybe only me). Why? because Villa is the lethal finisher and 9 who can score a zillion every season.

      I will not repeat what I used to say about Villa -a great player- back then, as this season confirmed it all already. As for ibra, I still believe he could be a better 9 for Barca than anyone else. But we will not go over the whole thing again regarding the reasons why he didnt survive for a second season after first -needed- adabting season, where after all he didnt achieve anything less than Villa. It happens in football.

      Any player will bring the squad somethng extra. Thats why I dont mind getting any of the names mentioned, i just prefer some over others.

    3. *Busquets can do everything Yaya can as a CM and more. And he is younger. Thats where the Yaya busquets combo creaes redundancy.

      But Busi plays DM. And we are talking about Yaya at CM.
      I don’t want to see Busi playing at CM and sMasch at DM again. I think Pep tried it out last season. It looked slow to me. And there was no creativity.

      The Ibra vs. Villa thing is from what I noticed what the posters wrote on the old Pep’s blog, transferblog or something. The majority of the people seem to prefer Ibra for the reasons I stated above.

      Any player will bring the squad somethng extra.

      That’s true. But from what I gather from watching Youtube clips of Sanchez, he looks like an out and out RW. And we already have Alves, Pedro and Messi occupying that space. It’s a threat that we already have in our arsenal.

      But perhaps he could operate in other positions as well. I can’t tell since I’ve never really noticed him during the WC. Does he pass well? Can he make diagonal runs? One two’s?

      I know for sure Rossi can..

    4. Well, Alexi played more behind the striker this season than on the wing, though his mobility helped him to cause continious threat on the flanks as well.

      As for your questions, yes, and yes , and yes 😀

    5. But I’m still upset that Thiago is demanding playing time if Cesc comes here. He just got promoted and already demanding. Why not slug it out?!

      Why are you upset? It’s only the papers saying this. Neither his father nor Thiago have come out and said anything about Cesc, as far as I know.

  15. Cesc will be a much better eventual replacement for Xavi than Busi. Busi is more of a guardiola type player, simply put he is just not dangerous at all going forward.

    Also I really don’t understand the “trying Ibi out at LB” statements.
    Ibi is stronger with his right than with his left. He lacks defensive positioning, strength and heading. His crosses are decent but not all that great either imho. And his overall skill set, dribbling and passing would be better served in the midfield or on the wing.

    It will be interesting to see how the possible arrival of Rossi effects his playing time, especially with Thiago being promoted also.

    1. Perhaps Cesc would be a better replacement for Xavi than Busi, were he to come in. Busi is perfect for what he does as DM, although Masch offers something different too as a DM. I haven’t been watching Cesc lately but from all accounts of Busi – he seems to have such discerning and rapid decision making prowess in terms of where and who to give the ball to, approximating that ability of Xavi.

      So if Cesc doesn’t come in, I’d say that Busi would be a better Xavi replacement than Thiago. In terms of consistency and reliability of passes, as well as vision.

      As for Ibi as LB, again this is just in terms of positions they can cover in case of injuries and when the first choice for such position is unavailable. He has really good pace and can do an Alves on the left, going high up the field and delivering crosses. Perhaps he can be taught all other skills such as what you mentioned to cover that position properly. That’s what we do with everyone else anyway. Busi is not a CB but he is used as such when need be. His skill set is not perfect for that as well, hence the own goal against Arsenal.

      We are just toying here with possible positions that other players can cover since we don’t have the luxury of buying the two best players for each position as starter and sub. So we have to use some in unconventional positions in case of injury and such.

  16. I’m scratching my head at how a Mascherano and Busi midfield would be better than a busi and a Yaya partnership in midfield.

    For me it’s the opposite with Toure can do everything that Busi can do and more.

    Busquet is not a destroyer, Toure if needed can be just that. Busquet is not as versatile as Toure
    Busquet doesn’t posses the range of passing that Toure has.
    Toure offers much more in attack

    Toure with the ball at his feet can run at players and skip past markers and distribute from deep.

    Busi while he is an admirable player in THIS Barcelona midfield it’s very hard to see him do what Yaya Toure does at City with lesser talent in midfield…

    This is just my humble opinion, Toure is a top 3 midfielder in the world, saying that I take nothing from Busquet but I’d feel much more calm with Toure protecting the back 4.

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