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Did Barcelona make a mistake not signing a supporting striker for Luis Suarez earlier?

  • Barcelona's indecision and ignorance in failing to sign a quality second-choice support for Suarez has hurt them... Was it a big mistake?
Vikas Mishra
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 04 Mar 2020, 22:45 IST

Suarez, who underwent knee surgery in early January, remains Barca
Suarez, who underwent knee surgery in early January, remains Barca's joint second-top goalscorer with 14

Luis Suarez has entrenched himself as Barcelona's primary goalscorer since his arrival in 2014. The Uruguayan international has scored 142 goals in 180 appearances across all competitions for the La Liga giants - a number only bettered by Lionel Messi

Such has been the 33-year-old's presence in the Blaugrana line-up that he is one of their most influential players, alongside Marc-Andre ter Stegen and the aforementioned Messi. 

It's unsurprising that Suarez's stint at Barca has been successful, having time and again proven why he's one of the world's best centre-forwards. However, an over-reliance on their influential stars like Suarez has meant more wear-and-tear than you'd want for a player of his tireless style, especially as time is no longer on his side in a physical sense.

Perhaps then, acquiring a quality second-choice forward would have reduced the goalscoring workload off his shoulders. Despite signing Antoine Griezmann last summer, the World Cup winner has yet to live up to lofty expectations at Camp Nou and is no spring chicken either: he turns 29 on March 21. 

Griezmann has flattered to deceive following his big summer move from rivals Atletico
Griezmann has flattered to deceive following his big summer move from rivals Atletico

Over the past two years, Barca's over-reliance has finally taken its toll on their stars, Suarez more so. He has been sidelined with a number of knee, calf and muscular problems since the beginning of 2018 while his side continue to surprise many by selling some of their academy talents.

Forgotten talents left to stagnate

Carles Aleñá has been vocal with his displeasure at a situation that saw him depart for Real Betis on-loan in January, while Carles Pérez left for Roma in a €13m deal that same month. Talented midfielder Riqui Puig continues to bide his time patiently among the Barcelona B ranks. 

Despite speculation linking them with a handful of strikers across Europe, they ultimately failed to add a Suarez replacement before the window closed. They were handed a lifeline and gladly took it, in signing Martin Braithwaite as a mid-season emergency - but it stems from ignorance of a previous issue that continues to rear its ugly head in times like these. 

Right now, there is plenty wrong at the Spanish club and their skewed transfer policy is clearly one thing that needs resolving. They must learn from previous mistakes to ensure it doesn't happen again in the near future. 

Published 04 Mar 2020, 22:45 IST
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