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.