Barcelona will be hoping to close-in on a number 9’s signing before the pre-season starts and so they have wish-listed six players.
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez is now 33 years old and will shortly be phased out of the squad. The 2018/19 season saw the Uruguay international detrimentally decline with his form and his consistency was always an issue. Nevertheless, he was on the score sheet pretty often but he may have played the last season of his career at the prime level.
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Signing a replacement for the former Liverpool frontman is going to be a difficult task given the number of goals he would score every season. Furthermore, Luis Suarez’s link-up play with Lionel Messi and his understanding of the Argentine gem’s game was better than any other Barcelona striker over the recent years.
According to Sport English, the club has now shortlisted six final names who might replace Luis Suarez from the next season because bringing in a number nine is on the agenda for the summer. Luka Jovic of Eintracht Frankfurt is the primary target, but with the Serb preferring a move to Real Madrid, the other five players linked are more realistic options.
Premier League frontmen of Arsenal in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have been linked with a transfer to the Camp Nou. The Gabonese won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2018/19 whereas Lacazette remained coy over his future before the Europa League Final. It would not be surprising to see either striker leave because of the Gunners’ failure in making the Champions League for 2019/20.
The Catalans’ interest in Bundesliga strikers is not just limited to Luka Jovic. Timo Werner of RB Leipzig has been linked with a move to Barcelona as well. The Germany international has contract with his side until June 2020 and could be on the move this summer, courtesy of his 19 goals and 10 assists across all competitions in 2018/19.
AC Milan and Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek is also on Barcelona’s shopping list. The Blaugrana would benefit by getting him because of his lethal prowess in front of the goals. However, Piatek is a man in demand so he could be extremely expensive, though his age is the brightest attribute of a potentially heavy transfer fee.
Lastly, Ligue 1 revelation Nicolas Pepe is being eyed as well by Barca. The Lille forward is actually a right winger, but his versatility allows him to play as a central striker. That said, his 23 goals and 12 assists in 41 outings this season provide for good reading and those statistics may only improve with better service at the Camp Nou.
Which of the six players would best match Luis Suarez’s goals and his gameplay with Messi?