Barcelona to go shopping in Amsterdam to arrest striker crisis
Spanish giants Barcelona could turn to an unexpected source as the Catalan giants look to arrest the striker crisis currently gripping the Camp Nou after the club was linked with shock interest in Ajax Amsterdam striker Sébastien Haller.
According to Catalunya-based outlet El Nacional (cited by Barça Universal), Barcelona is tracking this season’s top scorer in the Champions League in the wake of their squad-building nightmare that has left them well short of options to lead the forward line under new boss Xavi.
Barcelona set sights on UCL top scorer as surprise transfer – https://t.co/fJYxLANl9o
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) December 21, 2021
Haller is enjoying a season to remember at the Amsterdam Arena this season, netting an astounding 10-goals during the Champions League group stage, with another 10-goals in sixteen appearances in the Eredivisie as Erik ten Hag’s de Godenzonen remain in a three-way dog fight in the Dutch top-flight against rivals PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord Rotterdam.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals in a single #UCL group stage campaign than Sébastien Haller:
▪️ 6 games
▪️ 10 goals
▪️ 2 assists
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) December 13, 2021
As reported by Barça Universal, Haller has become a prime candidate for a move given the more affordable figure that would come with a move for the Ivory Coast international rather than the club splashing serious cash on one of Erling Haaland, Dušan Vlahović, or Alexander Isak.
With a current market value of €27million (per Transfermarkt) and the fact that Ajax only was made to pay £20million to prize him away from a poor spell at West Ham, even if Ajax wanted to double their investment, ~€40million would be considerably cheaper than what it would cost to win the race for any of the aforementioned striker targets.
Barça reduced to just one striker in torrid 2021-22 campaign
In what can only be viewed as a monumental reduction in quality, Barcelona has frustratingly been reduced to just one reliable striker in the first team under Xavi this season.
The early retirement by Argentine icon Sergio Agüero left the La Liga outfit in a bind, so too did the failed loan period by Dutch international Luuk de Jong.
Additionally, injuries to both Memphis Depay and Martin Braithwaite compounded the issues at Camp Nou. But Braithwaite, who is expected back just before the new year, is the club’s only true center-forward.
Depay can certainly be deployed there, but perhaps lacks the profile that Xavi wants in the long term. Regardless of what the case may be, for a club that has boasted center forwards the likes of Romário, Ronaldo, Hristo Stoichkov, Patrick Kluivert, Samuel Eto’o, David Villa, Luis Suárez, and eventually Lionel Messi, the club is currently falling well short regarding quality in the position required to push back up the table and run down rivals Real Madrid.