Three cost-effective January midfield targets for Barcelona | THT Opinions

The Hard Tackle lists three players Barcelona should pursue in the January transfer window to bolster the midfield department.

The January transfer window is around ten weeks away, and clubs are laying the groundwork for their upcoming spending. The best teams prefer not to indulge in incoming business unless external factors ravage their squads. But Barcelona and the winter window have been synonymous with each other in the last few years.

The Catalan giants have dipped into the market in January almost every season, with many signings transforming them. Think of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who ended the 2021/22 season as Barcelona’s joint-top scorer despite managing only half a campaign at Camp Nou.

Frank de Boer was another success story for Barcelona from a January transfer window. The current squad also contains a few January arrivals, including Ferran Torres. And as the winter transfer window fast approaches, the Blaugrana will likely delve into the market for at least one signing.

A recent report by Tot Costa has suggested that Barcelona will prioritise signing a midfielder in the January transfer window. Their stance is hardly surprising, considering Xavi Hernandez has been down to his barebones in the midfield department thus far this season.

Pedri’s fitness issues have created a gaping hole in the middle of the park, while Frenkie de Jong also accompanies him on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Oriol Romeu and Ilkay Gundogan are on the wrong side of 30. So, Xavi must manage their workload smartly, thus necessitating the need for a midfielder. With that in mind, The Hard Tackle lists three candidates to bolster the Barcelona midfield.

Adrien Rabiot

Barcelona bound? (Photo by Frank Fife/AFP/Getty Images)

Our first pick has had a bizarre career thus far, even though pundits and fans envisioned an all-time great in him. His stint at his current club has seen him mostly find himself in a negative light instead of making positive news. We are talking about Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder was supposed to be the next big thing in his homeland when he was breaking out at Paris Saint-Germain. But his spell with PSG ended in acrimony, as he departed as a free agent four years ago. Juventus snapped him up in a Bosman move, but he has blown hot and cold at the Allianz Stadium.

The 28-year-old has been top-notch in the last 15 months, but his contract situation has dominated the headlines. Rabiot only signed a one-year contract with the Bianconeri this past summer, with his deal expiring next year. So, with a cut-price January move possible, clubs like Arsenal, Newcastle United, and Manchester United have shown interest in him. But Barcelona should also pursue him.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup finalist is coming into his own and is in his peak years. In addition, he can reprise almost every role in the middle of the park. So, with Barcelona looking for a clever midfield solution, the Manchester United target can be an option worth considering.

Piotr Zielinski

Time to celebrate a move to Barcelona? (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Another player who can provide versatile solutions in the middle of the park for Barcelona hails from Serie A. He has been in fine form in the last few seasons and helped his team win the title last season. We are talking about Napoli powerhouse Piotr Zielinski.

The Polish international has been one of the best midfielders in Serie A since joining Napoli. But Luciano Spalletti brought the best out of him, enabling him to dominate the proceedings from the middle of the park. That quality should endear him to Barcelona’s decision-makers in the transfer market.

A well-rounded midfielder, the 29-year-old can stitch together passes to link up with his teammates with vertical plays. In addition, he will bolster Barcelona’s creative output while giving Xavi Hernandez another set-piece exponent. Meanwhile, like Rabiot, Zielinski will enter the final six months of his contract, making him an attractive target.

But recent reports have linked the Napoli midfielder with Liverpool. So, Barcelona will have to sell a more appealing project while offering attractive terms to the Serie A champions to prise him away. A tricky transfer battle might thus be on the cards.

Youssouf Fofana

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Our list ends with another player who will enter the final months of his contract when the January transfer window opens. While Jorginho, a target for Barcelona, falls into the category, we have gone with another midfielder. We are talking about Youssouf Fofana.

The French international has come leaps and bounds since joining AS Monaco from RC Strasbourg. While primarily a box-to-box midfielder, he is equally adept at reprising the holding midfield role. A picture of concentration, Fofana is a no-nonsense tackler who likes to keep things tight in the middle of the park.

With the 24-year-old yet to commit his future to AS Monaco, signing him should be a no-brainer for Barcelona. Fofana is younger than the other names on our list and has his best years ahead of him.

The Frenchman will be a bundle of energy, becoming the perfect antidote to seasoned performers like Oriol Romeu and Ilkay Gundogan. So, Barcelona should be all over the situation and secure Fofana’s services in a cut-price deal in January.

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