Thomas Partey and other African All-Stars who could boost Barcelona

Fri, 4 Sep 2020 Source: goal.com

Sadio Mane

The Liverpool forward has reportedly refused to renew his contract with the Reds and, having been linked with a move to Real Madrid during the lockdown, is also being looked at by Barcelona.

Part of this is due to Ronald Koeman’s appointment at his old stomping ground, and the history the pair share. It was the Dutch manager that brought Mane to Southampton from Red Bull Salzburg in 2014, barely three months after his appointment by the Saints.

Given the likely shake-up at the Camp Nou, it won’t be out of place to think the giants would fancy a move for one of Europe’s top forwards, so long as Liverpool set a reasonable asking price.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Kalidou Koulibaly

One of the positions Barca have lacked depth and quality recently has been at the back. While the full-back positions may require immediate surgery, their dearth of top class centre-backs has been notable.

Gerard Pique remains the club’s leading man at the back but, at 33, hasn’t been as consistent in recent seasons as he was in his prime. Samuel Umtiti has been beset by injuries in the last couple of seasons while Clement Lenglet can’t do it all by himself at the back.

This makes Koulibaly a necessary addition, given his quality on the ball and defensive ability. Even though last season with Napoli wasn’t the Senegal star’s finest, he remains one of the top defenders in European football.

However, a potential stumbling block could be negotiating a fair price with Aurelio De Laurentiis, who has a reputation for driving a hard bargain.

While recent evidence seems to point to the Arsenal striker either renewing soon or at least playing out the final year of his contract in North London, there’s always a chance other clubs could swoop as long as the Gabon star hasn’t put pen to paper.

Indeed, Aubameyang’s pedigree in front of goal is second to none and even though his age and wage expectations could deter Barcelona, the merits of him joining could tempt them to consider a swoop.

With Lionel Messi rocking the club by revealing his intentions to leave and Luis Suarez’s future up in the air, having someone with the qualities of Auba may not be so far-fetched, particularly as Antoine Griezmann struggled in his maiden year at the club.

Thomas Partey

While Barcelona have lots of bodies in midfield, a few options for Koeman are either on their last legs or are likely to move on this transfer window.

Sergio Busquets has slowed down in recent seasons and is likely to be phased out while Arturo Vidal is said to be surplus to requirements for the Catalan giants.

This leaves Frenkie de Jong and Miralem Pjanic as the club’s first-team midfielders, which means a transfer for Partey would make a lot of sense.

The Ghana international’s strengths in winning the ball and progressing it into attacking areas are well-known, and he’d certainly bring much-needed qualities to the set-up at Camp Nou.

Said Benrahma

In fairness, a transfer for the Brentford man may be a stretch, however, the Algeria playmaker’s style ought to fit in nicely for the Blaugrana, in theory at least.

The fact Benrahma hasn’t secured a move despite a brilliant individual season for the Bees has been strange, to say the least, and the North African star certainly wouldn’t reject a move to the Catalan giants were they to show significant interest.

At 25, the exciting attacking midfielder is ready for a big move and Barcelona would be a tantalising destination for the talented Benrahma.

Source: goal.com
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