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It should not come as a shocker that Barcelona are interested in Manchester United winger Anthony Martial and are looking to take advantage of Mourinho’s reluctance to hand him a starting role in order to lure him to the Camp Nou. According to reports, the Spanish side are monitoring the Frenchman’s situation at the Old Trafford and club’s sporting director Robert Fernandez was present in the United vs Chelsea clash this weekend.
The £36m summer signing from 2015 has scored 4 goals and 2 assists in the 7 matches he has played this season, of which 3 of those appearances have been in the starting XI in the Premier League. He has often been used as a substitute, with the form of Rashford seemingly keeping him out of the team, and he is unlikely to play down the middle given Lukaku’s presence there and Zlatan returning from injury around the turn of the year. Reports also suggest that Barcelona are hoping to use this uncertainty to sign him sooner than later.
Barcelona also showed a fervent interest in signing Liverpool star Phillipe Coutinho in the summer transfer window and although their offers were snubbed by Liverpool, they’re pretty confident that they can land him in the winter window.
Here’s why I think Barcelona should rather sign Martial than Coutinho:
Luis Suarez has been going through perhaps the worst run of form in his career and has been terrible this season. With Messi playing as a false 9 down the middle, Valverde drifted Suarez to the wings. He has been poor in his link-up play, one-on-one finishing, aerial domination and almost every other aspect of the game. Suarez’s dip in form would be a real worry for Barcelona and given Dembele’s injury, Martial could fit right in.
The left wing of their attack was exposed by the departure of Neymar to PSG this summer and though the Blaugrana signed prodigy Ousmane Dembele to replace him, he does not fit the exact profile. Dembele is a left footed winger who drifts from the right as opposed to the right footed Neymar. Martial could be the perfect replacement for Neymar and could form the next star partnership with Messi and Dembele up front.
To be very honest, there is no immediate need for Coutinho in the Barca midfield. Iniesta can still plod for a couple of good seasons and the likes of Denis Suarez, Carles Alenya and Sergi Roberto are talented nonetheless. Besides, Messi does a lot of work in midfield creativity and drops deep quite often. What Barcelona really need is a midfield controller to replace Rakitic and spending big on Coutinho would be really unncessary. That money can instead be spent on signing the likes of OGC Nice’s Jean Seri and Napoli’s Jorginho, who are proper Xavi-type players.