The news that FC Barcelona had made a players-plus-cash bid for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba has been one of the more surprising subplots in this summer’s transfer window.
According to reports, Blaugrana president Josep Bartomeu had made a €50 million plus Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes offer to the Red Devils.
While the offer was swiftly rejected by the Red Devils’ hierarchy and manager Jose Mourinho, Pogba-to-Barcelona is a very intriguing prospect. On one hand, his passing range, ability to dictate play and physical attributes could certainly add quality to Barca’s midfield.
However, given that midfielders Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo have already been signed, it seems strange that the Blaugrana would pursue such an obviously expensive move. Bearing in mind youth team products Carlos Alena, Sergi Samper, Denis Suarez and Sergio Busquets alongside Ivan Rakitic are already in Ernesto Valverde’s team, the pursuing of Pogba begins to make even less sense.
Barcelona would be better served targeting a younger and cheaper alternative to the French World Cup winner. Here are 5 options the board could look at instead:
#5 Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund)The German youngster would be an awesome signing for Barca
The German youngster would be an awesome signing for Barca
The brilliant young German is on this list for a reason; he has the skillset required to be almost as good as some of Barca’s most elevated central midfielders: the likes of Pep Guardiola and Xavi Hernandez
A very intelligent youngster, alongside Leroy Sane, his absence from the German World Cup team raised a few eyebrows. Able to be effective both offensively and defensively, Weigl looks tailor-made and more suited to manager Valverde’s style than Pogba.
A look at his displays for Borussia Dortmund shows that he is usually responsible for building attacks from the back. More often than not, it is he who is tasked with receiving the ball from the centre-backs and either retain possession or starting attacks.
In situations where the intention is to quickly counter, his quick thinking and long-range passes will be of great benefit to the Blaugrana’s pacy wingers or overlapping full-backs. His passes will help create chances by getting the ball to them quickly and bypassing the opposing midfield.
Also capable, if need be, of acting as the most defensive player in a midfield two/trio, his marking and defensive abilities are more than adequate and would be especially useful in the absence of Busquets.
It is difficult to determine just how much Barca will need to part with to get the young genius. However, given the recent arrivals of experienced internationals Axel Witsel and Thomas Delaney, it seems Dortmund might be willing to listen to offers for one of their most valuable assets.