Where Do La Liga’s Top Three Still Need To Strengthen?6 min read
There’s not long to go now until the transfer window shuts Europe-wide, with the Premier League’s already having closed earlier in August.
With the EPL not aligned to the rest of the continent, it brings the prospect of a few late raids on some of the best English-based players who are perhaps still looking for a way out of their current clubs.
Real Madrid certainly started off well with a 3-1 win at Celta Vigo, but their XI had a familiar feel to it. Eden Hazard was ruled out through injury whilst Luka Jovic was nowhere to be seen.
If rumours are to be believed, Zinedine Zidane wants to add another new signing to the mix before the end of the window, and Paul Pogba is his preferred choice. There’s merit in that decision too.
Though Los Blancos have a decent first-choice midfield of Kroos-Modric-Casemiro, none of the trio are as dynamic as Pogba would be.
It’s abundantly clear that the Frenchman doesn’t want to be at Old Trafford for any longer than he has to, and if Real can find the funds to acquire him, United may have to accept their offer or risk having an unhappy player in their ranks for the next few months at least.
What Pogba can bring is an energy, a super passing range and goals. Marauding runs come as standard for a player that has no equal when he’s truly focused, something that’s been missing for a while in Manchester.
Rivals Atletico Madrid have arguably done the best business of La Liga’s top three so far this summer, after a mass exodus looked as though it could cripple their chances of success before the season had even started.
Kieran Trippier, Renan Lodi, Marcos Llorente, Mario Hermoso and, in particular, Joao Felix are all quality additions.
There is still money available, however, for Atleti to go after one more player should Diego Simeone so wish. With James Rodriguez not averse to a switch across town, and Zidane open to a move which will give him some funds to help land Pogba, it’s a move which suits all parties.
The Colombian would be the icing on the cake for the Rojiblanocs, and with strength in depth often being the killer of title hopes, his hire could well tip the balance in Atleti’s favour for the first time in six years.
Barcelona remain favourites to land their ninth league title in the last 12 years, even without buying Neymar back from Paris Saint-Germain.
That said, if a deal can be constructed that gets the Brazilian back to the Camp Nou, and he can find his feet again quickly, the Catalans’ front line will take some stopping.
The question of whether they actually need him is a relevant one, but is also a moot point.
Very simply, if players of his standard become available, then at the very least possibilities need to be explored.
Ousmane Dembele hasn’t really done enough to convince the club that he will ever be the player they hoped he would be, whereas they know exactly what they’re getting with Neymar – including the circus that surrounds him.
With Philippe Coutinho now having departed for Bayern Munich, Barca require a creative presence. It might go to the wire, but if Neymar signs on the dotted line, the Blaugrana could legitimately lay claim to having the best front line ever – and one that will potentially win them the Champions League again.