What it costs to have a good center-back at Barça

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give with effective plants It’s complicated at Barcelona. First, because the coaches of the Barça team usually look for a very specific profile that is not abundant outside the Barcelona school. And second, because not all central defenders with a more common profile adapt to the ecosystem of the Camp Nou dressing room as soon as they arrive. Namely, it’s not easy to find Fully orthodox central defenders, according to the parameters of the Barça model, nor does a more powerful and physical central defender from grassroots football come out every year. In total, 40 central defenders have reached the first team in 20 years; 21 signed (counting Araujo) and 19 from the subsidiary who have played at least one official match. Stays far from the ten the number of those who have been consolidated. Easy it is not.

The sports management of the club is in full negotiation with Ronald Araujo, a central defender without the ability to get the ball out of Pique OR eric garcia but it does have many of the characteristics that made it legendary. Carles Puyol. Araujo After two years in the first team, he has become the target of many European teams that offer him much more money than he earns at the Camp Nou. Clearly, Barça cannot match those figures, but perhaps they should reflect a bit before ruling out making an offer that, although it does not match the ones they manage, is close enough for Ronald to say ‘yes’.

Transfer Araujo this summer (or lose him without entering money in 2023) would necessarily imply look for a relay There would be two ways: a signing or the quarry. It is tempting to think that you can create an Araujo at home with some ease: press the panic button and bang! Experience, however, does not say the same. And it is also difficult to look for outside centrals that work.

Center-backs signed by Barça

INFOGRAPHIC: HUGO NAVARRO

There is practically no season in which the market is not ‘combed’ in search of a central defender. Since the 2001-02 season, Barça has spent 253 million euros to sign them. 21 have arrived, one per year on average. The names show disheartening failure rate.

We would say that the signings have triumphed Márquez and Piqué. Maybe Eric will. They have given an acceptable performance Mathieu, Lenglet and at first Umtiti, whose renewal however became a huge nonsense. have been disappointing for different reasons Andersson, Thuram, Milito, Cáceres, Song (he was signed as a central defender, according to Tito Vilanova, while Mascherano was signed as a midfielder, although it is true that he ended up triumphing as a central defender) and Vermaelen. And they have been real fiascoes Christanval, Mario, Henrique, Chygrynskiy, Marlon, Yerry Mina, Jeison Murillo and Todibo.

The percentage of disappointments reflects the valuable which is a center that gives performance. And in the subsidiary is it easy to find a Puyol? Well let’s see: in that same period, in addition to Araujo (4.7 million investment) they have played at least one official match with the first team Dani Tortolero, Oleguer, Rodri, Olmo, Marc Valiente, Martos, Fali, Botía, Muniesa, Fontàs, Bartra, Sergi Gómez, Edgar Ié, Borja López, David Costas, Chumi, Cuenca, Araujo and Mingueza. It could be said that he made a hole for himself and kept it Oleguer. Then Bartra and Mingueza would come. The percentage is also not to conclude that, if Araujo leaves, someone else will come out to relieve him as if nothing had happened. Finding a center back and consolidating it is very difficult. Having it is like a treasure.