Skip to main content

Aymeric Laporte is the long-term solution to Barcelona's defensive struggle


Aymeric Laporte could become a Barcelona player as early as next summer. If reports in the press are to be believed, the Catalan giants already have a deal in place for the young defender and are ready to pay Athletic Bilbao the player’s €40 million release clause to bring him to the Camp Nou.

At 21, Laporte has already caught the eye of Europe’s biggest clubs. Ever since he made his top flight debut for Los Leones in 2012, Laporte has been linked with virtually every major club in the continent. A product of French lower tier club Aviron Bayonnais, famous for producing another famous defensive-minded player, Didier Deschamps, Laporte has all the tools to tread Deschamps’ glory-strewn path, albeit with a different club.

Getting Laporte from under the noses of the wealthier clubs from England will be a major coup for Barca. The young centre-back, who can also play on the left side of defence, can provide a long-term solution to the Blaugrana back line, which has been in a state of flux ever since the retirement of the legendary Carles Puyol last year.


Short-term fixes like Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu are either too injury-prone to be consistently relied upon or on the wrong side of age. Talented youngsters coming through from La Masia have been in short supply in recent years; the presence of Marc Bartra on the fringes for half a decade is proof of that.

Javier Mascherano, a midfielder, has often been preferred ahead of Bartra in defence — a pointer to the frequent transitions of the Barcelona defence, and why searching for a solution from within may not be the best option available. Gerard Pique’s fluctuations of form are widely-known, and while he might never find another partner of Puyol’s ilk, a little consistency and more familiarity will go a long way in solving the defensive puzzle.

Barcelona, this season, have played five different centre-back combinations and Vermaelen, Mathieu, Bartra, Mascherano and Pique have all had minutes at the centre of defence. That makes it obvious how manager Luis Enrique hasn’t struck gold in finding a solid, consistent centre-back partnership. Of course, injuries and suspensions haven’t helped his cause.

In Laporte, Barca will get themselves a solid defensive partner for Pique at the heart of defence. Going by his stats in the league this season, the Frenchman has averaged more tackles per game than Pique, Vermaelen and Mathieu. He has also averaged more interceptions per game than any of the Barca central defenders. Undoubtedly, Laporte is growing into a world-class central defender that Barca would love to have in their ranks.

Laporte is young but experienced enough, already closing in on 100 appearances for Athletic. His attributes as a ball-playing defender will sit well with the demands at Barca. At 189 centimetres, Laporte stands just four centimetres short of Pique, and his exceptional recovery pace is an asset that Pique has clearly been lacking of late. The designs of a solid defensive pair are there, only thing that remains is whether or not he arrives at the Nou Camp next summer.

Laporte would fit Barca’s defensive needs perfectly. This season, the Catalans have conceded the most goals of the league’s top nine teams. Defensive solidity, which is the basic characteristic of any great footballing team, is currently missing at the club.

Signing Laporte will be considered a win for Barca over the likes of Manchester United, but more importantly, it will provide the club with a solid defensive base in the medium to long term to sustain their glory days.


By Abhijit Bharali, columnist at Barcablog. Follow him on Twitter here 

DISCUSSION TIME!
Should Barcelona invest €40 million on Laporte? Who would you sign instead?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barcelona must improve dramatically to even dream of comeback vs Juventus

Barcelona host Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday (2:30 PM ET, EXCLUSIVE ONLINE STREAMING here). The Catalans, who fully deserved the 3-0 defeat in the first leg, will have to once again fight for a miraculous comeback in front of their home fans.

Luis Enrique's men must try their utmost to pile up the pressure from the initial whistle and score an early goal if they are going to have any chance of qualifying for the semifinals. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and the rest of the Barcelona stars must ensure they use the whole width of the pitch and constant ball movement in order to open up spaces within the Juventus back-line.

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta seemed to be up for the challenge during his pre-match press conference: "We have the potential and the players to turn it around. We have to play a perfect game. We have to create the maximum number of chances and score goals. I have no doubt there will be a great atmosphere tomorrow—the fans will be behind us. A…

Paulo Dybala, Neymar, Luis Enrique, Dani Alves and Andres Iniesta | Top 5 Barcelona News

Paulo Dybala, Neymar, Luis Enrique, Dani Alves and Andres Iniesta all feature in today's Top 5 Barcelona News:



How to watch El Clasico online, on mobile and on TV | HD Real Madrid - Barcelona Streaming

Barcelona travel to the Santiago Bernabeu to face Real Madrid in the biggest game in world football: El Clasico! Currently trailing Los Blancos by three points in the La Liga table, Luis Enrique's men have no option but to take the three points back to Catalunya if they are to conquer the league again this season.

In the absence of the banned Neymar, Barca will trust Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to lead their attack once again. If the team's midfield can take control of the game with their traditional commanding passing and their back-line manages to avoid any unnecessary slip-ups, there is reason to believe in a Blaugrana victory in El Clasico.

There's no two ways about it: You would be crazy miss a second of the action as watching El Clasico is now easier than ever -- even on the go! Whether you live in or outside the USA, you can easily stream every Barca match to your desktop computer, mobile device or even your TV.
US ONLY: JOIN FUBOTV
FuboTV is a live streaming channe…

Barcelona right to appeal Neymar controversial ban ahead of El Clasico

Neymar's decision to applaud the referee after being sent off during Barcelona's defeat in Malaga on Sunday was not very clever. His childish reaction after being shown a controversial red card gave the Spanish officials a golden opportunity to ban him for the Catalans' next three matches -- including the upcoming Clasico against Real Madrid.

As it was to be expected, the Barcelona board have wasted no time in starting the process to appeal Neymar's disproportionate ban. It is believed the Camp Nou giants will until Friday 21st April, two days before El Clasico, to file their appeal at the TAD Committee. That way, it is more than likely that the officials will run out of time to make a decision and be forced to postpone the case a further week -- meaning that Neymar would be able to suit up against Real Madrid after all.

Sure, Neymar's behaviour was out of order. Having said that, it is hardly surprising that the Spanish officials banned him for just enough matche…

Neymar must stay to secure Barcelona long-term success

Neymar has been excellent for Barcelona since he joined the Catalan giants back in the summer of 2013. Despite the many question marks over whether he would accept to share the spotlight with Lionel Messi, his professionalism off the pitch and even the legality of his transfer, the Brazilian youngster has made a remarkable impact and deservedly become a Camp Nou favourite.

As our partners as Sbobet Mobile know, Barcelona are not currently leading the La Liga table but nobody in their right mind would rule them out of retaining the title. If the Blaugranas are to leapfrog Real Madrid before the end of the season and win the league for the third consecutive season, Neymar has a huge role to play in the nine games remaining.

Fortunately for Cules, Neymar is currently playing the best football of his whole career. Fully established at both club and international level, the No.11's confidence and excellent form makes him a constant danger that rivals constantly struggle to contain -- …

Barcelona rewriting history after 1,500 matches at glorious Camp Nou

Barcelona have now played a staggering 1,500 games of football at the Camp Nou. The stadium, which was built back in 1957 to replace the legendary Les Corts Stadium due to the demand for tickets exceeding the ground’s capacity, has witnessed 1,119 Barca wins, 238 draws and only 143 defeats over the years.

Barca are clearly not invincible at the Camp Nou but their winning records of 75% and being unbeaten in 90% of home games speaks for themselves.

Barcelona have now become a global phenomenon thanks to not only their dominance, but also the many world-class stars that have been part of their squad over the years. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar take the vast majority of the spotlight these days, but their success can only be understood as a continuation of the work of legends such as Johan Cruyff, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Hristo Stoichkov or Lazlo Kubala over the years.


Camp Nou is a synonym of sporting excellence these days. The recent successes under the leadership of Luis Enrique…

Advertise on Barcablog.com

Welcome to our Barcablog advertising page!

If this is your first visit to our blog, I recommend that you take a look at our Charity Mission Statement to know more about our community and all that our website has to offer.

An Introduction to Barcablog

Hi! I am Francesc Tomàs -- the person behind Barcablog.com -- and your first point of contact for all media related enquiries. Let me give you an overview of the website and some of the advertisement options available for your business.

Barcablog.com was started in June 2010 as a hobby and in a few short years, it has become one of the most popular FC Barcelona blogs in the world, reaching a social media audience of 710,000+ followers and receiving positive feedback from many media outlets around the globe.

Thanks to the success of Barcablog.com, I have had the chance to contribute to major outlets such as ESPN, Weloba and The Guardian, to name a few. My work has also been highlighted by the official FC Barcelona website several times ove…

How to watch every Barcelona game online, on mobile and on TV

Barcelona, lead by their legendary attacking trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, are on a mission to bring more trophies to the Camp Nou museum this season -- and you should not miss a second of the action!

Whether you live in or outside the USA, you can easily stream every Barca match to your desktop computer, mobile device or even your TV.
US ONLY: JOIN FUBOTV
FuboTV is a live streaming channel that offers every Barcelona match as well as the whole of La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A and Premiera Liga for only $6.99 a month.

I have personally been watching Barca on FuboTV for years and the 1080p Ultra-HD quality is certainly the best in the market right now. No more dodgy, pixelated streaming for me!

There is a 7-DAY free trial option available and if you cancel your subscription within 24 hours you will not be charged.

Click here to sign up for a 7-DAY free trial with FuboTV.

OUTSIDE THE US: INSTALL CYBERGHOST FIRST
Fubo TV is currently only available in US. To watch …

Neymar, Messi, Ter Stegen lift Barcelona to greatest comeback in Champions League history

Sergi Roberto’s last gasp winner against Paris Saint Germain became an instantly legendary moment that Barcelona fans will cherish forever. Although the Camp Nou faithful are aware that qualifying for the Champions League quarterfinals is not a huge achievement in itself, the players’ determination to complete the biggest ever comeback in the biggest club competition in world football was impressive.

While it came down to Sergi Roberto to seal the historic win, the La Masia graduate was certainly not the only player to excel in Barcelona’s most important game of the season.

Neymar was, without a shadow of a doubt, the leader who took the Catalan giants to victory. His premonitory ‘1% chance, 99% faith’ tweet before the ball started rolling at the Camp Nou could not have been more fitting for the excellent performance that followed.

The Brazilian star proved a constant nightmare that the astounded Parisian back-line simply had no answer for. His astute positioning, magical dribbling a…

Barcelona should be embarrassed after shocking 3-0 defeat vs Juventus

Barcelona's 3-0 defeat in Turin against Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals was little short of embarrassing. Given the recent experience of losing 4-0 in Paris and needing a miracle at the Camp Nou to qualify for the next round, it is baffling to see how Luis Enrique's team failed to learn from their many mistakes.

The inclusion of Jeremy Mathieu in the starting XI, Javier Mascherano's inability to defend corners and Luis Enrique's puzzling decision to play Andre Gomes and keep both Jordi Alba and Paco Alcacer as unused subs are some of the reasons for Barca's dismal performance. Having said that, the main factor was the team's lack of intensity and overall inability to step up the pace to match Juventus' ambition.

Sure, miracles do happen in football and a comeback at the Camp Nou can't be ruled out at this point. However, Lionel Messi and co. should have really tried much harder to not find in such a terrible position fo…