Ferran Torres would be a dream, but Arthur Cabral is a great Plan B | OneFootball

Ferran Torres would be a dream, but Arthur Cabral is a great Plan B

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With the January transfer window just over a month away, the rumor mill is already buzzing with how Barcelona can strengthen their squad. More important than new signings, getting the trio of Ansu Fati, Pedri, and Ousmane Dembele healthy might do more than any player currently plying their trade elsewhere. Even Martin Braithwaite returning in January would be a huge help, though there’s no guarantee he’ll be the answer to Barcelona’s woes. But if, and it’s a big if, Barcelona could afford a player, the section of the field that needs enhancing is clear.

Much like in the summertime when Barcelona was clearly looking for a midfielder and the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum and Donny van de Beek were linked to the club, it seems like Mateu Alemany and company are searching high and low for a forward to bolster the attack. The two names that have popped up recently that seem to have the most traction are Ferran Torres and Arthur Cabral.

They are different types of forwards, from their playing styles to their price and even down to their notoriety on the world stage. Since we pride ourselves on realism here at BarcaBlog.com, it’s probably best to start with Arthur Cabral. The 23-year-old Brazilian centre-forward has 24 goals in 25 appearances this year, plus 8 assists at FC Basel. He’s still a bit of an unknown on the international scene because he wasn’t considered a major Brazilian prospect, splitting his youth football between Ceara SC and Palmeiras. Palmeiras is a big name, but he only made two appearances for the side over six months in 2019 before moving to Switzerland. The Swiss team is pretty adept at snagging promising Brazilian talent, and it seems like their scouts got it right again.

He’s scored 62 goals in 100 appearances since arriving for the 2019-20 season. Finishing off crosses and rebounds, either with his feet or his head, seems to be his bread and butter. He does have some ability to hold the ball up, but testing his open play skills would be the biggest challenge of a move to La Liga. But creating chances isn’t necessarily the Blaugrana’s problem, it’s finishing; and Cabral would be a prime candidate to do just that. If the forward is available in January for the reported 10 million euros that Barcelona has to spend, it wouldn’t reek of the same desperation as recent January moves for underwhelming strikers.

The less likely transfer but more exciting rumors surround Manchester City’s Ferran Torres. The 21-year-old Spaniard is outside Barcelona’s price range, but the good news is that the 21 million euros City paid for him would keep the amortization on his contract (until 2025) within reach. The issue would be his market value; if former Barcelona player and City sporting director Txiki Begiristain wants 50 million euros, a reasonable figure for the Spanish international, Barcelona won’t have much wiggle room.

According to some Spanish-based journalists, Alemany was in Manchester yesterday meeting with old Barcelona board member and current Manchester City CEO Ferran Soriano to potentially discuss a transfer for Torres. This would only make sense if the injured winger had indeed asked for a transfer to Catalonia and gotten the okay from Pep Guardiola.

While it’s unlikely, the Valencia product would be a perfect fit in Xavi’s system. A hat-trick as a false ‘9’ with Spain showcased his potential in his second best position, but the visual of Ferran Torres as Xavi’s right winger is tantalizing at worst. A foot injury has limited him to just seven appearances this season, bagging three goals. It should be noted that his lack of appearances is due to his injury, and not a lack of trust from Guardiola.

Torres’ arrival would also make a transfer of Dembele, either in January or as a free transfer in the summer, a bit more palatable. It’s not a comparison of the two; it would just be a reality that Barcelona would have to face. Ferran Torres has been linked to Catalonia back to his Valencia days, and Barcelona’s finances make his transfer close to an impossibility, but what a transfer it would be.

Dan Hilton is an American journalist, broadcaster, and current Editor-in-Chief of BarcaBlog. Extensive work as a play-by-play broadcaster, producer behind the scenes, and quite average player in his younger years has given him a well-rounded and informative perspective on the sport. Alongside BarcaBlog founder Francesc, Dan started The Barcelona Podcast in 2017

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