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David Villa is the fourth forward Barcelona are missing this season

Barcelona's latest transfer target has played as a centre-forward, winger, attacking midfielder and a supporting forward for various teams. He is Spain's all time top scorer and one of the best strikers of this generation. He is loved by all and feared by his opponents. He is David Villa Sanchez. And he may be back in January on loan from New York City.

Starting his career at Sporting Gijon, he also played for Real Zaragoza and finally moved to Valencia where he became a star player and caught the attention of teams around the continent. After winning the World Cup with Spain in 2010 and a silver boot award, he was signed by FC Barcelona. And he has been a fan favourite for the Cules ever since.

Villa scored a lot of goals in important matches and at times that mattered. Who can forget his goal in the Champions league final? Or the goal that gave us a vital 3-0 lead against AC Milan at the Camp Nou? He scored twice and assisted another in his El Clásico debut. And the goal he scored in the Spanish Super Cup match against Real Madrid was simply world class.

Unfortunately, El Guaje then went on to break his tibia during a Club World Cup match and missed the entire season as a result. The next year, he played his part in helping Barcelona win the La Liga and reaching the UEFA Champions League semi final, where they lost to Bayern Munich.

He moved to Atletico Madrid the next season and helped them win the first league title since 1996 and also reached the Champions league final where they eventually lost to Real Madrid in extra time. His decision to explore new leagues and experience different cultures saw him landing at the newly formed New York City shortly after.

Surprisingly to most, the Catalan media outlets are reporting of a possible loan move during the new year. Giving ground to these rumours is the fact that New York City FC have missed out on the MLS playoffs and so naturally could be back in action in any of the European top leagues given his stature.

So what can David Villa bring to FC Barcelona at this point?

Barcelona chief Robert Fernandez is currently on the lookout for a striker particularly who could fill in the Henrik Larsson role. And "El Guaje" perfectly fits the bill. Without disturbing the MSN combination upfront, David Villa can provide good backup as a substitute with his huge experience.

Approaching 34, he is no longer as fast and agile as he once was but technique never fades. And there comes his finishing. With Barcelona currently struggling in the finishing front, an old war horse who is familiar with the battle terrain is a huge bonus. 

David Villa, at his peak, was considered the best finisher in the world. His deadly curlers are still fresh in the minds of many of his fans. He also has provided wonderful assists throughout his career and his link up play is beautiful. The Catalan giants could certainly do with a player of his calibre.

Sandro and Munir are still upcoming youngsters who will need time to mature. Their lack of composure in front of the goal can be attributed to inexperience of playing at the highest level. And then to get hands on David Villa for a loan move is beneficial for both sides. Without disturbing Financial Fair Play Rules, Barcelona can look forward to one more signing like Nolito or Phillipe Coutinho in the meantime if they wish so.

Having played for Barcelona and a host of La Liga teams, El Guaje will need no time to adapt to the league. And he will be an instant crowd puller due to his popularity. In case of any injury crisis during the busy schedule of February and March, a player like Villa will provide depth to any side he plays in. 

Villa is exactly what we are missing, the kind of player we want: A legendary player straight from the bench? Yes, please!

By Abhishek Das, columnist at Barcablog. Follow him on Twitter here.

Do you think FC Barcelona should make a move for David Villa this January?


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