Gavi injury crisis! Barcelona's three January transfer solutions
Although Barca have not confirmed the diagnosis, the Spanish FA have indicated that Gavi has ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee after controlling a high ball while totally alone on the field. Three minutes earlier, though, the player had suffered a tough tackle.
Now the talented teen is expected to miss at least six months of action, meaning he will likely miss the Euro 2024 finals with Spain.
This long-term injury could force Barcelona into the January transfer market, although the club faces a battle with the league over their Financial Fair Play (FFP) situation.
As such, any player coming into the club is likely to have to come relatively cheap, although an exact figure is unclear.
Here are three possibilities that Barca should explore as their Gavi replacements based on the suggestions of data analytics SciSports and its player comparison tool.
Barcelona’s three possible Gavi replacements
Barcelona have not been afraid to raid the Brazilian market for young targets lately, with Vitor Roque set to move to the club either in January or next summer. Another player well worth watching is Victor Hugo, who is reckoned to have the highest ceiling of young players under the age of 21 who have a similar playing style to Gavi.
The drawback here is that Victor Hugo also has a relatively low current skill level, suggesting that he might not be the immediate replacement that Xavi and Barcelona need.
His expected transfer value is €14.7 million, according to FootballTransfers’ unique Player Valuation Model.
Javi Guerra – Valencia
Javi Guerra is enjoying a breakout campaign at Valencia, having established himself as a regular in the midfield of Los Che. He has scored three LaLiga goals already this season, having only played 25 senior games in total.
LaLiga experience would be useful for Barcelona in the pinch they’re currently in, while Guerra posts the highest current ability of players who the Camp Nou side might reasonably sign in January. Although his expected transfer value is a lowly €4.3m, they would surely have to pay more for a player who is exploding onto the scene.
Raiding the club bottom of Ligue 1 may be seen as a surprising move, but Lyon are a mess just now and are not utilising their tools properly to get themselves out of trouble. One of the players not being used adequately is France U21 midfielder Johann Lepenant, who is barely getting any game time under Fabio Grosso.
But Barcelona can turn this in their favour. It means Lepenant is a viable January transfer target – either in terms of a loan deal or a permanent move. The loan might suit both OL and Barca. His expected transfer value is €13.3m, down from a peak of €19.5m.