5 replacements for Dani Alves at Barcelona
I remember baulking at Dani Alves’ £30 million transfer fee when he joined Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008. Not privy to a future in which we would often see tens of millions spent on defenders (Hummels, Otamendi, Mangala, Thiago Silva and David Luiz) I was quite stunned.
How could it possibly make sense to pay so much for a player that was essentially going to play as a right-back?
Well, it didn’t take too long to understand why Barcelona thought the fee, even though exorbitant at the time would be considered a massive bargain, 8 phenomenally successful seasons later. Dani Alves wasn’t just a phenomenal right-back for Barcelona, he pretty much redefined what we thought a right-back could do.
Over the years we’ve got used to the sight of Alves bursting up the right flank, looking to get on the end of Messi’s beautifully timed passes and putting in balls that have terrorized opposition defenses to no end. He’s gone past players with ease, like a skillful right winger and picked out his clinical Barcelona teammates time and time again. He’s been an irreplaceable cog of the Barcelona machine and has been imperative in the dazzling football they’ve played over the years.
The likes of David Villa, Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o and Ronaldinho have been replaced by Barcelona over the years. All absolute geniuses but the Blaugrana have managed to find the next superstars of world football to replace them. Barcelona have even learnt to cope without Xavi, the eternal maestro in recent times. Finding a replacement for Dani Alves though could possibly be even harder. Aleix Vidal is a player that can fill in of course, but Barcelona will need to sign a more suitable replacement.
Here are the possible players that Barcelona could sign to replace the departing Brazilian:
#1 Elseid Hysaj – Napoli
Barcelona have already been linked with the Albanian full-back, who is gearing up for Euro 2016 on the back off a storming season with Napoli. The right-back can do it all, defend and attack in equal measure and while being only 22-years of age, even a significant transfer fee for his services would be a shrewd investment from the Blaugrana. Napoli have played some sparkling football this season and Hysaj has repeatedly shown he’s very comfortable with the ball at his feet.
The 22-year-old has made the most of working with Maurizio Sarri, the brilliant and enigmatic Napoli manager and has shown the ability to constantly improve and is not fazed by the big occasion. He would certainly be a shrewd acquisition for Barcelona.