Purchasing a player to fill a need suddenly created, even though the role might not be a starting one. Still Barcelona are looking at Dortmund and their excellent midfielder, İlkay Gündoğan, in hopes of having the same depth and quality in the midfield next season.
It’s very hard to see Thiago Alcantara not leaving Barcelona at this point to Manchester United, a move that will bring in €21 million, but also create a hole for a backup midfielder, as Thiago usually fills the role of starting for Xavi as the central midfielder, just in front of Busquets and a little behind Andres Iniesta.
There is the option of letting another youth product take a step forward, as Sergi Roberto should make his way up from Barcelona B, hoping to become a more prominent figure in the Barcelona squad at age 21.
However, Roberto plays in a slightly different role than Thiago and Xavi, usually a bit more up the field than them. The 21-year old has been a part of Spain’s youth teams, including playing in the U-20 World Cup two years ago. He has played three league matches for the team and three more in the Champions League, even scoring a goal.
Obviously, Gündoğan is the more expensive option. Dortmund will not be letting go of him for less than €20 million, especially with so many teams chasing after him, and the German side not really keen on selling. The problem with filling the role of Thiago with Gündoğan is that he’s not really ready to have a lesser role all of a sudden.
He has been an automatic choice for Dortmund over the last couple of seasons in the lineup, and even though the Barca system might take time to adjust to, he might treat this as a temporary step back in his career, which doesn’t guarantee him a lineup spot in the future with such a fierce competition for the team’s midfield positions.