On Monday it emerged that Barcelona are once again interested in Aymeric Laporte’s signature, after the Manchester City defender has fallen out of favour under Pep Guardiola.
The decisive factor in any deal will no doubt be Barcelona’s ability to pay Manchester City and work within their salary limits, but if they can do a deal, they would reportedly be keen for a number of reasons, as per MD.
Barcelona have been following Laporte for a decade now, after he came into the side with Athletic Club in 2013 as an 18-year-old. He was one of the brightest defenders in Spain before moving to City.
He benefits from the experience of knowing La Liga already, and any issues with adaptation to both the football and the country are less likely to cause problems.
At the same time, he also has plenty of experience in the Premier League. In a bid (so far unsuccessful) to match the intensity of the English sides in Europe, many of Barcelona’s recent signings have come from England, not least Marcos Alonso, Raphinha and Andreas Christensen this summer.
Laporte has also demonstrated he can cut it at the top level. At 28, he is coming into his prime as a defender, and could slot in immediately. Some of Barcelona’s other signings have tended to be the wrong side of 30 or still in a development phase.
On a footballing level, it was noted against Valencia, but also on several other occasions, that Barcelona have been struggling to play out from the back at times this season. That may be more down to the lack of Pedri, but Laporte’s ability to bring the ball out from the back also works in his favour.
Finally, he is left-footed. The Barcelona coaching staff would rather have a left-sided defender on the left side of central defence, as has been seen by the use of Marcos Alonso there. Currently the three first-choice options there are all right-footed in Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo and Christensen.
If Barcelona do manage to get a deal done, it might lead to an interesting summer. Araujo likely will be a starter regardless next season, but if Xavi Hernandez does not use three at the back, then both Christensen and Kounde will be playing out of position or on the bench, something neither will be content with.