Thiago Silva or Thiago Alcantara? Barcelona's Tricky Dilemma

With the European club season nearly having concluded, the focus is turning to the multitude of possible transfers that may occur. The latest rumour that has caught my my eye is that of Barcelona possibly aquiring Thiago Silva from Milan in exchange for Thiago Alcantara plus cash.

My initial reaction is that we should not sell one of our most promising young players. However, the key question in whether it would actually be a good deal for Barcelona is whether Thiago Alcantara will develop into a truly great player or will he be just be another good player.

Barcelona is famous for the quality of its La Masia youth development program. In any game, at least half of the current Barcelona team on the field consists of La Masia products. However, it is one thing to be a talented young player. It is quite another to become a first team regular at a club like Barcelona. For example, it took three or four years for Andres Iniesta to truly establish himself in the Barcelona first team and there are few players in the world better than El Blanquito Blaugrana.

The way things currently stand there will be plenty of talented young players in next season's Barcelona first team squad. Players such as Thiago Alcantera, Isaac Cuenca, Christian Tello, Martin Montoya, Marc Muniesa, Andreu Fontas, Marc Bartra, and Sergi Roberto will all be competing for the first team playing time they need to develop as players.

In five years the majority of these players could quite possibly be the nucleus of  a winning Barcelona first team. However, at the moment they need to  be very selectively integrated with the established players so as to ensure that the first team continues to win on a regular basis. Young players need playing time to develop but experienced players must form the basis of any winning team.

However, a young player only gains experience by playing.

It is impossible to determine in advance how good the players I have mentioned will become. Thiago Alcantara had quite a good initial season in the first team without completely establishing himself. Barcelona must now try to decide how good he will become in the future.

The same question will apply to many of the other players I have mentioned. Of course, not all La Masia products can be kept. For example, Bojan Krkic and Oriol Romeu moved on at the end of last season. These are difficult  decisions for the club to make as the goal is to ensure that the best players are retained and not lost to other clubs.

If the rumour about a possible Thiago swap is true, it is a real dilemma for Barcelona to try to resolve.

Would they be getting rid of a future world class player or simply a player who will be good but probably not great?

I really don't know the answer to the dilemma yet.

Posted by: Drago , Columnist at 'Culé Talk'          


  1. i think at the time as things are going it wdnt be bad to sell thiago in exchange for silva;;;we have a rly strong midfield probably the best ever and also hav a lot of great subs who r almost all midfielders;;;wht we rly need is a good centeral defender and i dnt think we cld buy sm1 better than silva fr that position

  2. Anonymous22.5.12

    This is a ridiculous suggestion to begin with. Thiago has been more impressive than Xavi, Iniesta at this stage of their development. He is one of the best ball controller in the current team. He is not scared and risks injuries with tacles. He only needs time and encouragement to develop his vision. Why on earth we would contemplate exchanging him beats my imagination. He is the future of that midfield and we should resist any attempt to make this nonsense move.

    It is quite interesting that whenever one of our players has a dip in form we are always looking to offloading them at ridiculous prices rather than encourage the players to raise their game before acting. We never got any decent return for letting the likes of Ibrahimovic, Thiago Motta etc leave. Some of them went on to win league titles and Cl for their clubs. Contrast that with Madrid who play hardball with players they want to sell. I hear the current drum beat is about Alves. Yet no one can identify anyone at Alves' level.

    We lost the league not because we were not good enough, but because Pep lost focus and was too confident, allowing Madrid to build a good lead. We failed in the Cl not because we were not good enough. In any fair day, Chelsea should have been beating by an embarrassing scoreline.

    I am for making needed adjustments and changes but not panick buys. If Thiago Silva is unaffordable, there are cheaper and adequate options.

  3. never in life should Thiago Alcantara be sold or exchanged for any player in this world. He is one of the best barca future mid-fielders. He is in no doubt Xavi replacement.
    Thiago silva is a good and perfect defender but should NEVER be exchanged for Thiagp alcantara rather let him be exchanged with Affeley or keita.
    Barcelona should be careful in their selection of swaps. Another thing barca should know is that, that midfield has been in perfect control and the best midfield in the world by our LA MASIA brought-up-trained players who turned to be the best midfielders in the world and never already-made players that are being bought.
    so barca should never do anything stupid with that midfield because our midfield is what makes us the best team in the world and it makes many if not all teams afraid to play us.
    BARCA TILL I DIE...................

  4. Alex MKUNDU22.5.12

    we badly need another central defender and the way our backline has been exposed is encouraging. thiago silva will be a real value but we cant let go our most promising youngster so cheaply. in a season or two, thiago will be twice the value of Silva and what next, another swop? we can get another defender at a cheaper price and keep our young midfielder

  5. Eto we lost in that stupid swap with ibrahimovic is still costing us so much. An irreplaceable player. barca should please watch well.
    We should not lose someone like Eto'o again in our team.

  6. Anonymous23.5.12

    so you seriously considering to swap thiago who showed his skills more than once and who at the moment is better in barca midfield than cesc to a nearly thirty old center back?

    i mean come on: what a joke - literally a joke - he is thirty years so what future will he have?

    anyway transfers and scouting are rather lousy in barca.

    why is barca after thiago who will cost a fortune and at the same time they have missed the opportunity to get verthongen at half the price at the age of 25?

    or why are they do not take closer look at the french first league?

    next, they are considering to sell alves and bring in zabaleta: ok, what a swap if alves were to move to city instead. (sarcasm off)

    then there are rumors, of course, that barca is after another winger: so another winger, of course that's exactly what barca needs.....

    finally: drogba i always appreciate your comments but how does it come that you put tello, cuenca, sergi and the rest of la masia players on the same level as thiago?

    i really don't get it - with all due respect!


  7. Anonymous23.5.12

    i need to apologize: of course you are not the king of diving! ;) so take my excuses, drago


  8. While Thiago Alcantera is currently well ahead of the other young players I mentioned, it is as yet impossible to say how good each will eventually become. That is what the decisions a s to which players should be kept so difficult.

  9. Wilfred W Carbo23.5.12

    It's a fact that we dun know how good thiago will become in future but we also dont know if silva can perform in the current barca squad.i say we buy silva if we really think he can be a solution to our problems;it's no news that we need to strengthen our defence. It wouldnt be prudent to sell thiago,the kid is our future

  10. I think selling Thiago might be a blow on barcelona cos he's gonna be a great player in years to come and he's to stay when Xavi or Iniesta is at their peak.He has a promising future. I love him when he on pitch.

  11. iheuwa Godwin23.5.12

    dis is real a difficult decision to make
    but i would suggest dat we keep thiago
    and if silva is unaffordable lets back out and look 4 other option.there are many fishes in d water

  12. Thiago vs Thiago is one of those questions that the media 'make up' whenever they haven't got any news on the pitch - Welcome to the Summer Transfer Show!

    Thiago Alcantara is a unique talent who has Blaugrana DNA after years of training at La Masia. At 21 years of age, he has already impressed at Barca and the Spanish National team - There is NO way he should be allowed to leave.

    Thiago Silva is a good central defender who would improve our current squad, as would Javi Martinez, Rami from Valencia or David Luiz from Chelsea, or others. At 27 years old, he would be a good buy and, if a swap was to be arranged, I would include Keita, Afellay, Cuenca, Bartra or Fontas, but never Thiago Alcantara.

    Plus, don't forget Milan still owes Barca 8 Million euros as part of the Ibrahimovic deal...

  13. BarcaFAN23.5.12

    I don't understand what's this obsession with Thiago Silva? He is a great player but there a lot of great players in terms of Vertonghen, David Luiz, Mamadou Sakho. AC Milan are cheaters in business. We sold Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Zambrotta, Ibra on the cheap. But they never gave us someone reliable. All they know is to make us fool in business. Just give up on pursuit of T.Silva.
    I have another issue to consider. We are looking for someone in CF. Why don't we buy Papiss Cisse'or Jovetic instead of Van Persie,Llorente. P.Cisse's playing style is the same as Eto'o's. His technique, ball control, shooting, working rate, strength, heading are just excellent. Sometimes I wonder "Do Barca have any scouts?!"

  14. Anonymous24.5.12

    Thiago should not be considered for sale. and i think he is a great back up for the likes of iniesta and xavi who by the way i dont see playing every game as he used to as his injuries continue to cause him problems. thiago will have plenty time to shine over the coming seasons. we must not be so quick to swap out players after one season, players need time to adapt and gell with their team. or else we risk being more like madrid. we must have faith in our players. we need the likes of thiago silva but not at the expense of our future dominance, and while yes we could always buy back thiago in the future i think his place is here learning from the best midfielders in the world

  15. We need to keep Thiago, he is going to be huge :)
    And as defender I prefer Vincent Kompany over Silva any day.


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