Bernardo Silva is reportedly one of Barcelona’s new transfer targets for the new season, but the news has received mixed reactions.
One section of the Blaugrana faithful are happy with the prospect of having the Portuguese winger at the Nou Camp. However, there are others who say that Barcelona are once again wasting their money on a player who may not be compatible with the club's playing style.
There are also suggestions from reliable sources that Nelson Semedo and Joao Cancelo could swap sides in the coming months. In that backdrop, it is imperative that Barcelona handle the situation carefully.
What will Bernardo Silva add to Barcelona?
To understand what kind of a player we are talking about, we must first look at the 25-year old Bernardo Silva's profile.
Silva first came into prominence at Monaco, where he played a crucial role in sending Manchester City out of the UEFA Champions League in the 2016-17 season. The Portuguese was a teammate of a certain Kylian Mbappe.
Silva’s Champions League performances earned him the admiration of Pep Guardiola, and the Manchester City manager was impressed enough to bring the Portuguese superstar to the Etihad Stadium.
It has to be said that Barcelona are in need of a left-footed player right now. Lionel Messi is the only left-footed winger who plays for the club on a regular basis. Ousmane Dembele is unreliable due to his injury-prone nature, and Antoine Griezmann plays one good game and fares poorly in the next few.
If he joins Barcelona, Bernardo Silva would be the only other natural winger apart from Messi in the team. Besides, he can also be deployed as an attacking midfielder. Barcelona stand to gain enormously if they manage to land him.
Potential roadblocks to the transfer of Bernardo Silva
It is an open secret that Barcelona’s financial situation is very precarious right now. The only way that Bernardo Silva would arrive at Camp Nou is when the club can free up some money by selling players.
It has been reported that the Blaugrana may be willing to consider selling Antoine Griezmann should they require funds to bring in Bernardo Silva.
Since his arrival at Barcelona in the summer of 2019, the 29-year-old French World Cup winner has had an underwhelming stint. He has rarely looked like a threat going forward, and far from alleviating the pressure off Lionel Messi’s shoulders, the Frenchman has only added to it.
Griezmann adds little in terms of creativity and goalscoring. Throughout the 2019-20 La Liga campaign, he scored just nine goals and provided four assists. This was his output in 2562 minutes of La Liga action.
Of course, to break down a player’s statistics is a very pedantic and unromantic way of watching football, but even visibly, Griezmann offers little joy.
The only noticeable attribute from him is his work rate. He is the only forward in the team who looks to win the ball back consistently. That is a good trait to have, but a forward’s primary task is to contribute in terms of attacking and goal-scoring.
Greizmann's most impressive performance came in the away game against Villareal where he scored a marvellous lobbed goal. However, in the very next game against Espanyol, the Frenchman missed a sitter.
The arrival of Bernardo Silva could bolster the Barcelona forward line, and the fact that he can also be deployed as an attacking midfielder seems to be an added advantage. But unless Barcelona can ship off Griezmann, the Silva deal looks unlikely.
Barcelona’s Nelson Semedo situation
It will undoubtedly make the Blaugrana faithful angry that the team’s most consistent performer this season, Nelson Semedo, is likely to be leave elsewhere in the coming months.
Nelson Semedo has been a livewire for Barcelona during the recently concluded La Liga campaign; his pace and bombing decoy runs have added a certain level of depth to the Barcelona right flank.
He provided six assists in all competitions in the 2019-20 campaign and capped off his brilliant individual season with a goal against Deportivo Alaves in the final league game, which was a much-deserved reward.
Therefore, it is downright baffling that the Barcelona chiefs, led by Josep Maria Bartomeu, are planning to exchange the Portuguese with his compatriot Joao Cancelo.
Even if the Bernardo Silva transfer does not materialise, chances are that the Semedo-Cancelo swap is likely to happen, with Manchester City being the current employers of Cancelo.
Barcelona are also keen to add another Manchester City player to their ranks in the form of Eric Garcia. The arrival of the Spanish centre-back Garcia makes more sense for Barcelona, as the 33-year-old Gerard Pique is not getting any younger.
It can even be argued that Pique’s clumsy tackle on Rafinha against Celta Vigo at Balaidos cost Barcelona the La Liga title as Iago Aspas scored from the resulting free-kick.
One of the reasons why Barcelona might be willing to sell Semedo is that they want a right-back with a reduced weekly wage. He currently earns in the range of €66,000 per week at the Nou Camp.
How do Barcelona avoid their previous transfer fiascos?
Barcelona should refrain from making any more transfer mistakes. The current board has already put a huge strain in the club’s finances, and more mistakes in this regard would only have catastrophic ramifications in the long run.
The only deal that makes sense for Barcelona is the signing of Eric Garcia. The Spaniard, only 19, would definitely be a mainstay in the Blaugrana defence for years if he arrives in the summer.Published 25 Jul 2020, 01:07 IST