Barcelona deserved to be the champions of Spain as the Catalan club maintained incredible consistency throughout this season. They were on course to become the ‘Invincibles’ and had gone 36 games unbeaten, only for Levante to beat them and spoil their party last weekend.
However, the Barcelona squad isn’t complete despite them winning the La Liga. Andreas Iniesta has bid goodbye to his glittering Barcelona career and Luis Suarez is 31.
If Barcelona want to continue their dominance in Europe, Ernesto Valverde needs to sign a couple of quality players. Here are three players who could help Barcelona retain the La Liga title and also challenge for the Champions League next season.
Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)
With Iniesta set to leave Camp Nou, Barcelona should hunt for a midfielder capable of filling the big boots of the sublime Spaniard.
Marco Verratti has all the ingredients to replace Iniesta at Barcelona. The Paris Saint-Germain man would be ideal to grow into that role. He is a fantastic passer of the ball with an exceptional technical ability and dribbling skills. He’s good in possession and fits the club’s system perfectly.
The Italian is a deep-lying playmaker and he would take Iniesta’s role and play alongside Ivan Rakitic with Sergio Busquets as the classic defensive midfielder in the 4-3-3 system. Signing Verratti from PSG could shore up Barcelona’s midfield for years to come.
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Antoine Griezmann has reportedly been a hot target for Barcelona and it is easy to understand why. The Frenchman is considered as one of the best attackers in Europe due to his technique, vision, pace and finishing.
Griezmann possesses excellent skills and his work-rate is second to none. He has been a consistent performer for Atletico Madrid since joining from Real Sociedad and will undeniably be a fantastic addition to the Barcelona squad.
Just imagine Barcelona’s attacking line-up involving Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann!
Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)
Matthijs de Ligt’s impressive performances for Ajax this term haven’t gone unnoticed, with Barcelona amongst a host of top European clubs tracking him.
At the age of 18, De Ligt has become a regular for both Ajax and the Dutch national team. Tall, solid, calm and very comfortable on the ball, the Dutchman has all the tools to be a world-class centre-half. He is an accomplished tackler and a very good reader of the game.
Barcelona have a problem in central defence, as two of their 4 players in that position, Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen, have crossed 30. Samuel Umtiti has been brilliant since joining from Lyon and while the Catalan club signed Yerry Mina from Palmeiras in January, the addition of De Ligt would be the future.