Martin Braithwaite staking his claim at Barcelona

Martin Braithwaite of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Martin Braithwaite of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) /

Everyone was interested to see where Barcelona’s goals were going to come from after the departure of Lionel Messi. The Argentinian accounted for a large percentage of their output and many were wondering who would step up in his absence. Against Real Sociedad, it was Martin Braithwaite who stepped forward.

The Danish striker scored twice and provided an assist. At the same time, he made it clear with his performance he wants to stay at Barcelona.

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Braithwaite has been the subject of transfer rumors with the player being one of many the Catalans had deemed surplus to requirements and someone they wanted to offload to trim the wage bill.

He had been linked with a move to West Ham and Tottenham as well. But he was not completely convinced and wanted to fight for a place even if it meant he wouldn’t play much. Then came the injury to Sergio Agüero.

Martin Braithwaite score twice in Barcelona’s win over Real Sociedad

As it stands, it is going to take a rather outstanding offer for Barcelona to sell Braithwaite. Manager Ronald Koeman had previously asked the club to sign another striker. But Barcelona’s finances at the moment make that almost impossible.

The Dutchman was full of praise for Braithwaite after the win against Real Sociedad.

"“I think he (Braithwaite) is an example of a professional, he always works for the team and has improved his game.“He helps us a lot. He has speed and is difficult to stop. I am delighted to have players like him.”Source: FootballEspana"

If there was any doubt as to his commitment with the club, he made it quite clear in a social media post after the game.

Braithwaite might not be the prototypical Barcelona striker. He does not possess the pedigree of a David Villa or a Luis Suarez. He does not have the name recognition one expects from a Barcelona player.

What he does have is the ability to be at the right place at the right time. With players like Memphis and Antoine Griezmann alongside him, he does not need to be the creative force in attack. Sometimes all he needs is to be in the box and be on the receiving end of a cross.

He proved he can do that with the two goals. One came off a cross from Frenkie de Jong and the other came from a cutback from Jordi Alba which found Braithwaite after a deflection.

He also sacrifices a lot going forward and tracks back. One of the changes post-Messi is everyone in the front line tracks back and pressures high. Something that wasn’t done as often before.

Things may change once Agüero returns from injury but right now Braithwaite is going to take advantage of every opportunity he gets and he is bound to get quite a lot of them if he continues to perform like he did in the first game.

No one is expecting him to lead the league in goals but to be able to score when necessary and be involved in other aspects on the pitch as well. He seems even more determined following a good showing at Euro 2020.

He’s been adamant about how much he wants to stay at Barcelona. His performance against Real Sociedad is going to go a long way to achieving that goal. However, it’s just one game. He’s going to face tougher defenses and it’s these games where he will be judged. But, at the moment, he’s the type of player Barcelona need.

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Will Martin Braithwaite stay at Barcelona?