Koeman urges Barcelona to sign a new centre-forward in January

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 17 May 2021 20:59 BST 3 min read
Koeman urges Barcelona to sign a new centre-forward in January

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman believes the club need to sign a new “number nine” in the January transfer window as his team are missing a focal point up top.

This season the Dutchman has switched between a 4-2-3-1 formation and a 4-3-3 for the most part, with Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Martin Braithwaite having all featured in the central forward position at one time or another.

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  • PlayerGoals
    Lionel Messi7
    Ansu Fati4
    Antoine Griezmann3
    Martin Braithwaite, Frenkie de Jong2
    Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele2
    Via FootballCritic

    This was after the club opted to let starting striker Luis Suarez leave for title rivals Atletico Madrid in the summer with no replacement coming in.

    Though Koeman insists his desire for a new centre-forward is nothing to do with the performances of Griezmann or Braithwaite in particular, he insists his attacking unit does need reinforecements.

    “I trust each player in our squad,” Koeman said following the narrow 1-0 win against Huesca, which saw Barcelona have 20 shots but only score one goal.

    “But if we choose to have three midfielders there is room for three forwards.

    “With Leo we bet on someone with great depth like Dembele, and we have to choose between Martin or Antoine at the top and Martin has done it.

    Barcelona top scorers under Koeman – 20/21 La Liga

    “It’s a nine that we’re missing in these games but it doesn’t mean anything in regards to Antoine’s substitution. We have a lot of games and we need all the players.

    “We have said several times, at the beginning of the season, that we need someone at the top to have more competition and more goals, more effectiveness, but this depends on many things.”

    In Koeman’s debut season as head coach in 2020/21 season Messi is the club’s leading scorer in La Liga with seven goals so far, with Griezmann scoring two and Braithwaite one.

    As of 1 January 2021, the Argentine superstar is now free to talk to another club about the prospect of leaving Barcelona for free in the summer.

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