Opinion: Barcelona must face the reality over right-back target

If Barcelona don’t bring in or sell a right-back, it isn’t really a transfer window is it? Once again that was the position of focus on deadline day for the Blaugrana.

Hector Bellerin left after just five months, without leaving a transfer fee and, in the interest of honesty, without leaving much of a trace. A popular and excellent representative of the club, is impact was negligible.

It seems they made a late move for Julian Araujo of LA Galaxy. The 21-year-old would join the Atletic team, but with the Blaugrana now relying on Sergio Roberto and Jules Kounde playing out of position, a promotion was not ruled out. As it is, they are awaiting a verdict on whether they got the paperwork in on time.

Just two days previously, Javi Miguel reported that while Atletico Madrid target Arnau Martinez was on Barcelona’s shortlist, he was never a primary option.

The two best-placed are apparently Benjamin Pavard of Bayern Munich and first of all, Juan Foyth of Villarreal. That has been backed up by Todofichajes, who say that Barcelona will return for the Argentine in the summer.

Which would be all very well, if they had any space in their salary limit to make that deal happen. Or either deal happen for that matter. Pavard only has a year left on his deal and wants to leave, but Bayern Munich are unlikely to make things too easy for Barcelona, as was seen with Robert Lewandowski last summer. Equally, Villarreal are expert salesman and will probably refer the Blaugrana straight to his €42m release clause.

Barcelona must face the reality of their means. When they pulled any number of economic levers last summer, they pushed their problems down the road, but they did not end them. Last summer was an opportunity to reshape the squad for the next two seasons before the austerity measures kicked in, but Barcelona seem reluctant to do that now.

When they did not bring in a right-back last summer, they ran the risk that they would be without a good one for the net two seasons. The use of resources over last summer can be debated ad nauseam, but the simple reality is that Barcelona are wasting their time pursuing a deal for the likes of Foyth for the coming one. It seems impossible they would be able to free up the finances to free Foyth from La Ceramica, and thus they must change strategy.

Whether that comes in the form of simply accepting that Jules Kounde will be playing there, or trusting a young talent like the potentially arriving Araujo, it is time they made peace with not getting star at the position. After all, they have been trying to get by without one since 2016.

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