The Catalans are in the transfer market in search of a new striker.
It has been no secret that FC Barcelona have been on a pursuit for Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan. However, despite a long-lasting chase, a deal has not been struck between the clubs.
In such a scenario, one wonders if the Catalan club could divert their attention elsewhere and rope in some other forward in place of Martinez as there are several alternatives available in the market.
On the other hand, there are some experienced individuals who could very seamlessly don the responsibility and the deliver the required level of performances for the team. Here, we look at some of those options and ponder more upon them.
5. Donyell Malen
Donyell Malen represents Dutch side PSV Eindhoven and plays upfront through the centre. He is the sort of forward who prefers to drop into the midfield and engage in combination play before moving up ahead to take a decisive shot at goal.
His finishing abilities are laudable, as he tends to possess a very composed head and demeanor at merely 21 years of age. Malen can disrupt defensive lines with his slick, accurate through-balls that he sets up for his fellow forwards. In 14 Eredivisie matches this season, he has scored 11 goals and notched a couple of assists.
The striker takes an impressive 4.2 shots per game and creates 1.6 key chances, which is much better than some of the more formidable attacking midfielders. His well-rounded style of play indicates that Malen could be an appropriate fit in Barcelona’s style of play and system.
4. Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay has been in the public eye for so long that it is rather difficult to believe that he is merely 26 years old. Depay has been in some fine form for Lyon in the past few years and that has resulted into better performances from his side for the national team too. He is a dynamic forward who is capable of playing in several roles in the forward line.
Depay could cut inwards through the wings or assume the role of a striker and deliver almost equal outputs in terms of goal contributions. He is more of a playmaker and goal-scorer than a forward who pounces on loose opportunities in the box. Depay prefers to create those chances through his brilliant footwork, vision, pace and expansive passing range.
He has scored nine goals and bagged two assists in 13 Ligue 1 appearances in 2019-20. He attempts two dribbles, completes 1.9 key passes and takes 3.7 shots per game. If Barcelona is looking for someone who is versatile and productive from different roles, then Memphis Depay could be a potential option for them.
3. Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen is a Nigerian international who plays for Lille in the Ligue 1. He has a robust built and capitalizes well on the goal-scoring chances that he encounters inside the box. He dominates the opponents in the air, as he has won 4.4 aerial duels per game in the Ligue 1 in this campaign.
Osimhen is a bit lackluster when it comes to his positioning though, and hence is often flagged offside due to his complacent approach over there. Yet, he has been prolific and has netted 13 goals and assisted four others in 27 matches in the top-tier French league in 2019-20. He also played five UEFA Champions League games and scored two goals there. Osimhen is more of a goal-scorer than a chance-creator, unlike the aforementioned two names in this list.
His one-dimensional style of play is reflected in his passing accuracy of 61.4% in the Ligue 1. However, he could be a fine option if FC Barcelona are looking to rope in a fox in the box to convert the chances that their other creative forwards produce.
2. Andrea Belotti
Andrea Belotti has been sought after in the European market for quite some time now, but a move has still not materialized. Instead, he keeps delivering formidable performances for Torino in the Serie A. The 26-year-old would be a valuable addition to any setup, as he has the traits of a traditional striker. Belotti is dominant in the air, and capitalizes on the crosses that are delivered from the flanks.
He is quick to identify chances and put the ball into the net, highlighting his spontaneous and effective goal-scoring ability. The 26-year-old has won 3.5 aerial duels per encounter 25 Serie A matches in 2019-20. Moreover, he has also scored 10 goals and assisted two others.
In six UEFA Europa League games, Belotti has notched six goals. He shows glimpses of a forward who willingly assumes the goal-scoring responsibilities for his side. Although, the Italian forward needs a set of players who could regularly set up chances and supplement his playing style appropriately.
1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is being touted to move to FC Barcelona after his impressive stint with Arsenal over the past couple of years. The Gabon international appears to be someone who could fit into the Catalan club’s demands. He is a free-flowing forward who is constantly on the move and hence can interlink brilliantly with the other players on the pitch.
Aubameyang’s pace is lively, and he also has a tendency of regularly shifting his positions to the left flank from the centre. This makes it difficult for the defenders to properly mark him and the Arsenal ace uses this to his advantage with the assistance of his swift footwork and dribbling abilities.
In addition to that, he is an efficient goal-scorer and has already bagged 17 of them in his 28 Premier League appearances this season. Moreover, he has scored three goals in five Europa League matches in 2019-20. With considerable success in both Bundesliga and then in England, it does seem that Aubameyang could very well adapt to the La Liga and help solve Barcelona’s current woes.