As we wait for the Ousmane Dembele transfer to be completed, we’re left wondering about the potential replacements. Earlier today we outlined why we believed a replacement for the French winger wasn’t needed, but reports in Spain indicate that Xavi is insistent on the club signing a wide forward to replace the departing Dembele.
Unsurprisingly, the name Yannick Carrasco has been mentioned more than a few times, Javier Gascon in Mundo Deportivo believes the La Liga champions may revisit the option in light of Dembele’s upcoming departure.
When Barcelona agreed to sell Memphis Depay to Atlético Madrid for €3 million, they also received an option of a ‘preferential purchase’ of Atleti winger Yannick Carrasco, a fee believed to be between €16-€19 million. That option expired at the end of June, with Barca deciding against signing the Belgian international, but that was before Dembele decided to jump ship to PSG.
Now Gascon believes that Barca could revisit that option, negotiating a fee between €15-€20 million for the 29-year-old winger.
What would Yannick Carrasco bring to Barcelona?
Although Carrasco can play on the right wing, he prefers to operate on the left cutting inside onto his preferred right foot, if Barca did decide to sign him that would put him in direct competition with Fati and Ansu for that spot, with Raphinha, Yamal and Torres competing for the right side.
Xavi does like to play Pedri as a false left winger, which makes this signing a little questionable, but with just 12 months left on the contract of Carrasco, maybe Barca can negotiate a deal too good to turn down.
Carrasco had a fine season for Madrid last year scoring 7 goals and assisting another 3 in 35 La Liga appearances, all told he scored 10 goals with 5 assists across 44 appearances in all competitions.
Renowned as a good attacking threat down the left, the former Monaco man also operated as a left midfielder and left wing-back in Diego Simeone’s 3-5-2 formation. He was also used by Belgium coach Roberto Martínez as a wing-back during the 2018 World Cup, where he operated a 3-4-3 formation. So he certainly has more defensive capability than Dembele, although he doesn’t quite possess the same attacking intent.
There are going to be a lot of names thrown out there over the next 48 hours or so, some will have actual merit like Carrasco and some will be designed as pure clickbait, like Alexis Sánchez. Maybe the best move for Barca is no move at all, at least when it comes to the forward position.