Martin Braithwaite, the Barcelona Savior?

Barcelona is known for its deadly front line, such as Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar. Or, if you want to go way back, there were Ronaldo, Romario, and Hristo Stoichkov. They are a guarantee for at least a goal to the opponent net. The opponent defense line also needs to work extra hard just to keep up with these amazing forward players. Now, Barcelona has a new bullet for their attack. He is Martin Braithwaite.

Who is Martin Braithwaite?

In the simplest words, he is a former forward for Leganes, one of the football clubs in La Liga. He was signed from Middleborough and can be said, show a promising play in Leganes. He scores 8 of 18 goals that this club scored this season. So, he is the most important forward player for Leganes. 

Braithwaite’s playing style is similar to Eto’o. He is a physical or power type player that can win air duel, as well as fast. In the Barcelona TV interview, he said that he is also an intelligence type player. He learns the game, and move accordingly to provide a goal opportunity. He runs constantly behind the opponent defense line, which is a playing style that Barcelona needs for their forward. And, with his physic, he also a good player for set pieces or defense.

How Can Barcelona Got Braithwaite?

Many people have this question when Barcelona has successfully signed Braithwaite, even though the winter transfer window has been closed. La Liga has a rule, where a club in this league can appeal for transfer when they run out player in a certain position in the middle of the league because of injury. There is also a requirement that the injury must hold that player out of the field for at least 6 months.

Barcelona uses this special right because their two forward players have to take a break because of injury. Luis Suarez, who had knee surgery, must stay outside the field for 4 months or until this season finished. Then, Ousmane Dembele also got an injury that makes him need to rest for at least 6 months. After Barcelona confirms Dembele’s injury, they are eligible to use this special right. And, the player they chose to replace those two main forward is Braithwaite.

Barcelona needs to pay 18 million Euros to activate the Braithwaite release clause. There is no information about when he can play for Barcelona. However, many people speculate that he will have a chance to play after the big El Classico match. So, at least, he will have a chance to play 14 matches after him sign a contract with Barcelona.

Does Barcelona Need Braithwaite?

The current forward players in Barcelona can be considered enough until the end of the season. Lionel Messi still becomes the first choice. Then, Antoine Griezmann will play on the Suarez position as the center forward or target man. Then, there is Ansu Fati that can play in the winger position. Braithwaite mostly will become the substitution for Griezmann. He is suitable for that position.

Braithwaite air ball-winner skill maybe will be useful, when Barcelona faces a tight defense line that doesn’t allow Messi or Fati to penetrate it easily. The winger, especially the attacking side back, can give him a nice cross that can be converted into a goal with his header. If Quique Setién, Barcelona coach, can optimally use his ability, Barcelona might be able to deal with the deadlock in a match.

Braithwaite = Good Deal?

If we look at this season Barcelona squad this club has many options that they can use to fill up the position that Suarez leaves. For example, they had Carles Perez and Abel Ruiz, two promising youngsters. Unfortunately, Barcelona sold them to Roma and S.C. Braga on the winter transfer. And, they choose the 28-years old Braithwaite over them.

Personally, this is one of the worst deals Barcelona ever made, equal to when they buy Kevin Prince Boateng. It seems that Barcelona management and coach have been messing around for these past years. It started from the Neymar transfer that leaves a big hole in the Barcelona front line. After that, Barcelona can’t find a player that can fill the Neymar position. 

Then, they also let the young promising player go to other clubs. Moreover, they don’t give a chance to their La Masia produced player to play in the main squad. Barcelona’s attack is still threatening. However, we can’t say that they are deadly. They use one pattern aka Messi-centered-pattern, and when it doesn’t work, Barcelona faces a huge problem.

It seems that Barcelona needs to revamp its transfer and scout department. They easily lose many promising players and sign a player that doesn’t have a guarantee to be a game-changer. If they keep doing it, it is not surprising, if this club won’t be able to talk too much in La Liga or Europe.


Madrid Wants Raheem Sterling?

Manchester City now has become one of the elite clubs in the Premier League. Besides the big fund came from the investor that changed this club’s strength on the field, there are also two important figures in their transformation into a top contender of the Premiership title. They are Pep Guardiola, one of the best and brilliant football coaches in the world, that change how this club play. And, the other one is Raheem Sterling, English forward that is known with his amazing dribble and penetration to the opponent defense line.

Raheem Sterling Are Going to Move to Real Madrid?

Several days ago, Sterling was interviewed by the Spanish outlet AS. In this interview, he was asked about the thought of joining Real Madrid, due to the City’s case of Financial Fair Play (FFP) and transfer problem. If this case goes to the verdict with City on the guilty side, this club will have to spend two years without having the right to participate in any European level competition. So, Champion League and European League title will be just a dream for them.

Due to this case, there is a chance that Sterling will seek a new challenge, or in this case, the new way to get the higher level title, by moving to another club and Real Madrid is one of the higher possibilities. Sterling answered that he admits that he always wants a challenge, indicate his open arm toward Madrid’s offer. However, he added, that he still happy playing for City and wants to finish his contract in his current club.

Manchester City bought him from Liverpool by paying £49m in July 2016. Since then, he has become one of the most important players in the City forward line. When Pep comes to Etihad, he becomes an important piece of Pep’s formation, which relies heavily on the short pass and penetration. Sterling has all the skill that is needed to perfect Pep’s style. And, it is shown on almost every match; he is included in the starting lineup.

Pep Guardiola and Sterling’s Transfer Rumor

After finding out about Sterling’s possible to move to Real Madrid, Guardiola said that he believes in his player’s commitment, including Sterling. However, he also added that he never forces players to stay in the club. He let his players speak their minds to create a strong bond between players, manager, coach, and staff, which will be displayed on the match. 

Guardiola also admits that Real Madrid and Barcelona are the two biggest existences in the modern football industry. When these two show some interest to a player of other clubs, he even uses the word “tremble” to describe the reaction of other clubs after Madrid or Barcelona asks them about their player. Every football player wants to play with start in both clubs. So, it’s reasonable, if the offer and even the rumor about the offer to Sterling have a big chance to tempt him to move out.

Now, Guardiola only tries to focus on the rest of the match in Manchester City schedule, whether it is Premier League or Champions League. And, he believes that Sterling will do the same, to bring the best result from this club. So, we can expect that Sterling will stay until the end of the season. After that, when the summer transfer period starts, we never know what will happen then. With Sterling open the possibility to seek a new challenge, there is a chance that we will hear a big transfer from this club.

Sterling will stay in Manchester City until 2023 according to his contract. The fans expected that City will offer him an extension for his contract. However, there is no news about it, and this is that it makes fans worried about the Madrid transfer rumor. We just need to wait until the summer to find out what will happen. 

The Manchester City Case

As we mentioned above, Manchester City now is facing one of the biggest obstacles in this club’s history. This club is suspected to conduct serious breaches of the Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulation, as well as the UEFA’s club licensing rule. Because of this case, Manchester City was banned from European competition for 2 years and fined 30 million Euros.

However, Guardiola said that this case is not finished. The club still tries to appeal to change the outcome of the case. And, hopefully, in the end, the club will get the best result. 

Currently, Manchester City place in the second position under Liverpool in the Premier League table. With the 22 points different from the leader of the league, it will be a difficult task to catch up with Liverpool at the end of the season. It is indeed, they need everything to do that, including Sterling.