With Memphis Depay leaving Barcelona this January, it has opened the debate out for what kind of replacement the Blaugrana should be interested in.
Yannick Carrasco has been heavily linked with a move in the summer, and with Raphinha, Ansu Fati, Ferran Torres battling it out for a spot next to Robert Lewandowski and Ousmane Dembele. There were also suggestions that Barcelona would rather have a forward that could play as a nine, should Lewandowski be injured or rested.
The latest information from Mundo Deportivo says that the Blaugrana have also been scouting Eintracht Frankfurt’s Daichi Kamada, with a view to potential move in the summer. The Japanese playmaker is out of contract in the summer.
Kamada has 7 goals and 4 assists this season in 15 Bundesliga games, but has been instrumental for last season’s Europa League winners for some time. Currently he is fourth in Germany for goal-creating actions too.
The interesting thing about these links is that Kamada is far more of an attacking midfielder than a forward, often operating just in behind a striker. Perhaps Barcelona see him more as a midfielder, but he has rarely been used as deep as the likes of Gavi or Pedri under Xavi Hernandez.
It begs the question as to what exactly Barcelona are seeking, if they are to add a sixth attacking option to their current forwards. There is a fine balance to squad building. Some prefer to go for variety in attack, giving the manager more options to change games. Others prefer more similar options in order to ensure the team maintains its system.
Amongst their current options, it would be fair to say that each of them carries out a different profile in attack, even if they play in the same positions. Perhaps the one option missing, in terms of a more traditional front three, is a natural winger that hugs the touchline and goes wide, rather than cutting inside. On the left side at least, this seems less necessary with Alejandro Balde developing into a fine offensive full-back.
Perhaps the scouting of Kamada represents a shift from Xavi Hernandez though. The last few big games, against Real Sociedad, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, have seen Xavi use four midfielders, with one of Gavi or Pedri moving higher up the pitch. Kamada could potentially fulfil a similar role.
However that would also prevent them from bringing in (without further exits) a natural alternative to Lewnadowski as a nine. Fati can play there, but looks much less involved at times.
It promises to be a tricky decision for Xavi and the recruitment department one way or another.