The summer transfer period features important decisions from clubs around Europe, with some signings that will bring positive effects while others could be less successful. FC Barcelona reportedly have their sights set on Willian. However, this could ultimately be an unnecessary addition.
The Brazilian has been linked with a move to Spain this week, and part of that is due to fellow countryman Philippe Coutinho’s current situation. La Liga sides are only able to sign three players from outside of Europe, and the Blaugrana had already reached that limit with Coutinho, Yerry Mina and Arthur. But with Coutinho now holding an EU passport, manager Ernesto Valverde suddenly has the ability to pursue Willian.
The transfer fee is rumoured to be in the region of £60 million, with two previous bids believed to have been submitted by Barcelona.
The allure is understandable, and the 29-year-old could thrive in Barca’s system. Willian’s pace and skill out wide within the Blaugrana’s famed 4-3-3 alignment would likely provide an added boost to the attack, and he would be a valuable weapon in the final third.
His familiar partnership with Coutinho is noteworthy, and many fans would be excited by his arrival. The issue is the club’s area of needs, and Willian simply does not fall into that category.
The midfield requires serious attention
As Real Madrid prepare for a new era without Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona should feel confident about retaining their league title in 2018-19. But there will be improvements needed, especially if they want to make a run at the UEFA Champions League once again. In order to accomplish these lofty goals, the midfield should be the focus as opposed to the front-line.
Andrés Iniesta and Paulinho have departed this summer, and Sergio Busquets has shown some signs of slowing down during the past two seasons. Ivan Rakitić is coming off a strong campaign and a wonderful showing with Croatia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but depth at the position should be a priority.
£60 million was offered on the last rejected bid, and that is a significant sum that should be going to midfield (or even defensive) reinforcements.
Willian would be an excellent signing, but nothing more than a luxury acquisition. Surplus to requirements, and Barcelona have a strong attacking group as it stands now.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez form a formidable forward line with Coutinho, and Ousmane Dembélé is in the squad as well. After an injury-plagued start to life at the Camp Nou, the 21-year-old will be anxious to show why the club made the move for him in the first place last year. He began to show glimpses when he returned to the line-up late in the campaign, and could be poised for a break-out run in the coming months ahead.
Barcelona have the financial resources to make big transfers happen, but they also must consider what is valuable business and what is not.
Willian is an extremely talented player. A switch to Barcelona from Chelsea may be intriguing, though the Spanish giants really should consider different potential options.